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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Is Familial

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
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