Navigation Links
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Is Familial

Obsessive-compulsive disorder has a tendency to affect many members of a single family. The disease causes severe anxiety// and disturbing thoughts, which are dealt with by patients by repeating certain behaviors. It is estimated that close relatives of OCD sufferers are nine times more likely to develop the disorder.

Now, new research is shedding new light on one of the genetic factors that may contribute to that pattern. And while no one gene "causes" OCD, the research is helping scientists confirm the importance of a particular gene that has been suspected to play a major role in OCD's development.

In two papers published simultaneously in the Archives of General Psychiatry, researchers from the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Chicago and the University of Toronto report finding an association between OCD patients and a glutamate transporter gene called SLC1A1.

The gene encodes a protein called EAAC1 that regulates the flow of a substance called glutamate in and out of brain cells. So, variations in the gene might lead to alterations in that flow, perhaps putting a person at increased risk of developing OCD.

The new findings are especially important not only because of the simultaneous discoveries reported in the papers, but also because of previous studies that show a functional link between glutamate and OCD. Brain imaging and spinal fluid studies have shown differences in the glutamate system between OCD patients and healthy volunteers, including in areas of the brain where the EAAC1 protein is most common.

"Taken together, these findings suggest that SLC1A1 is a strong candidate gene for OCD, which if confirmed could lead to improvements in understanding and treating this condition, and screening those with an elevated risk," says Gregory Hanna, M.D., senior author on one of the papers and an associate professor of psychiatry at the U-M Medical Schoo l. "It's possible that altered glutamate activity in some brain regions may contribute to the obsessions and compulsions that are the hallmark of OCD."

Hanna and colleague Edwin Cook, Jr., M.D., of UIC together lead a major study of OCD genetics involving patients and their families who are willing to donate DNA samples and be interviewed by researchers. The study is still seeking OCD patients and their parents to participate in further research on the genetics of OCD.

While the new findings are exciting because they strengthen the evidence for glutamate's role in OCD vulnerability, the researchers caution that more work needs to be done before their discovery has any impact on OCD treatment.

Four years ago, the U-M and UIC team published a genome scan from young OCD patients and their parents that found signs of OCD-related genetic variations on chromosome 9, in the area of SLC1A1.

Since that time, they have been zeroing in on the gene and its nearby stretches of DNA, using analyses of single nucleotide polymorphisms that look at specific differences between individuals within the gene. At the same time, the Toronto group has been focusing on that same area in studies involving adults and children with OCD and their close relatives.

The new U-M, UC and UIC paper is based on genetic samples from 71 OCD patients (children and adults) and their parents. It finds a significant association between early-onset OCD and genetic variations at several sites on the SLC1A1 gene. A strong association at two of those sites was only seen in male early-onset OCD patients, which surprised the researchers but may make sense in light of the fact that early-onset OCD is more common in boys than in girls. As many as half of all OCD patients experience their first symptoms in childhood or adolescence.

The new U-T paper is based on data from 157 OCD patients and 319 of their first-degree relatives. It finds linkages between OCD and three locations on the SLC1A1 gene.

In a commentary published in the same issue of the journal, two Yale University researchers call the new findings promising, and call for additional research. "These data add to a growing body of work that suggest that SLC1A1 is perhaps a primary candidate gene for OCD," they write.

Hanna notes that the finding of genetic vulnerabilities for OCD are important, but so is the understanding of how environmental factors -- including hormones and infections -- may play a role in the onset of the disorder.

He directs the U-M Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Division's Pediatric Anxiety and Tic Disorders Program, which treats young patients whose OCD may be related to an infection. That disorder, called PANDAS for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections, causes both OCD and tics in patients.

As their research continues, Hanna and his colleagues hope to eventually conduct clinical trials of glutamate-targeting medications in OCD patients, and to collect more DNA and blood samples from patients and their families. They're also looking at other regions of the genome that might contain gene variations that are more common in people with OCD.

Contact: Kara Gavin
kegavin@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source: Eurekalert
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Guidelines For Better Management Of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
2. Age Affects Lung Disorder
3. Link Between Migraines and Behavioral Disorders
4. Methamphetamine Users Found To Suffer From Mood Disorders
5. Eye Disorders, A Predictor Of A Shorter Lifespan
6. Blood Transfusion A Likely Cause For A Rare And Fatal Brain Disorder
7. Migraine Found To Be Linked To Behavioral Disorders
8. Sleep Disorder,The Likely Cause Of Most Road Accidents
9. Sleep Disorders Could Indicate Other Medical Problems
10. Panic Disorder Can Be Handled Better
11. Neurological Disorders Overcome By Proteins
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Our bodies are bombarded daily by ... and deal with these stressors is to adopt a more healthful diet, but too ... Risa Groux, a certified Holistic Nutritionist and the creator of the Newport Beach Cleanse ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The White House announced efforts yesterday to ... about their loan terms and accounts, and more protections for borrowers. The announcement ... private loans, has reached $1.3 trillion, with 43 million Americans holding student loans ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... Spine ... neck pain, is proud to announce one of their physicians has been invited to ... Family Physicians (Texas ACOFP) Family Practice Review conference on April 30, 2016. , ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... The Gluten-Free ... is pleased to announce the launch of the GFCP Scoop in ... more. The purpose of the GFCP Scoop site is to keep ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... Reltok Nasal ... and products for the head and neck/ear, nose and throat specialty, has added the ... The KOTLER NASAL AIRWAY™ is a newly patented safety device secured by ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... April 28, 2016 Research and ... Plastic Surgery Products Market 2016-2020" report to their ... , The global plastic surgery products market ... during the period 2016-2020. , ,The growing adoption of ... the growth of the market. Lasers are used to ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... -- The blood testing market in China ... and The Freedonia Group in a recent report.  The ... healthcare research firm said that China ... and in improving testing at the provincial level.   The ... Blood Testing Market in China , which utilized ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... Dr. Vivek Ahuja , ... Ste phen Schmidt Join the ... software solutions for life sciences, today announced key new leaders have ... insight to a growing business.  This will bolster the company,s safety ... joined ArisGlobal in the position of Vice President - Safety. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: