Gene Discovery (SLITRK5) May Hold Key to Better Therapies for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

In the first analysis of its kind, researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and several other institutions have linked distinct patterns of genetic mutations with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in humans. The work, published online on June 28, 2021 in Nature Neuroscience, confirms the validity of targeting specific genes to develop new OCD treatments and points toward novel avenues for studying this often debilitating condition. The article is titled “Exome Sequencing in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Reveals a Burden of Rare Damaging Coding Variants.” OCD, which affects 1% to 2% of the population, often runs in families and genes are known to play a large role in determining who develops the disease. However, the identity of many OCD genes remains unknown.

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