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Canine compulsive disorder gene identified
Date:1/7/2010

. This association of CCD with the CDH2 gene region on chromosome 7 is the first genetic locus identified for any animal compulsive disorder. The neural cadherin-2 gene, CDH2, is an especially attractive candidate disease gene as it is involved in mediating presynaptic to postsynaptic neuronal junction adhesion, neuronal axon outgrowth and guidance in the central nervous system during development when critical brain nerve networks are established. Discovery of this locus raises the intriguing possibility that CDH2, and other neuronal adhesion proteins, are involved in human compulsive behaviors, including those observed in autism spectrum disorder.

"The CDH2 gene is expressed in the hippocampus, a brain region suspected to be involved in OCD," said Dodman, the study's lead author. "Additionally, this gene oversees structures and processes that are possibly instrumental in propagating compulsive behaviors for example, the formation and proper functioning of glutamate receptors." Dodman added that "this finding is congruent with current evidence that N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) blockers are effective in the treatment of OCD."

"The occurrence of repetitive behaviors and similarities in response to drug treatments in both canine CCD and human OCD suggest that common pathways are involved," said Ginns. "We are hopeful that these finding will lead to a better understanding of the biology of compulsive disorder and facilitate development of genetic tests, enabling earlier interventions and even treatment or prevention of compulsive disorders in at-risk canines and humans."


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Contact: Jim Fessenden
james.fessenden@umassmed.edu
508-856-2000
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

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