Sunday, May 18, 2014

Researchers Identify Genetic Marker Linked to OCD

Finding likely to advance research in little-understood disorder

Fast Facts:

  • Scientists say they have identified a genetic marker that may be associated with the development of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • The causes and mechanisms of OCD are among the least understood among mental illnesses.
  • Researchers conducted a genome-wide association study, scanning the genomes of more than 1,400 people with OCD and more than 1,000 close relatives of people with the mental disorder.
  • A significant association was identified in OCD patients near a gene called protein tyrosine phosphokinase (PTPRD).
  • Researchers hope the finding helps them make better sense of the disease and helps to find better treatments.
A group of researchers led by Johns Hopkins scientists say they have identified a genetic marker that may be associated with the development of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), whose causes and mechanisms are among the least understood among mental illnesses.

The results of the research are published online May 13 by the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

“If this finding is confirmed, it could be useful,” says study leader Gerald Nestadt, M.D., M.P.H., a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of Johns Hopkins’ Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Program. “We might ultimately be able to identify new drugs that could help people with this often disabling disorder, one for which current medications work only 60 to 70 percent of the time.”

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