Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Researchers identify genetic marker linked to OCD


Finding likely to advance research in little-understood disorder

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."

... more about:
»Health »Medicine »NIMH »OCD »animals »behavioral »disorder »genome-wide

Nestadt and his team conducted what is known as 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).

OCD is a condition marked by thoughts and images that chronically intrude in the mind and by repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing the associated anxiety. Some of the least disabling forms of the disorder can add an extra hour to the day's routine, causing distress and interfering with daily life. Some people are so disabled that they can't leave their homes.

Experts say OCD affects an estimated 1 to 2 percent of the U.S. population, and the World Health Organization has called it one of the more disabling medical conditions worldwide. Antidepressants known as SSRIs work for some people, but not everyone; the same is true of behavioral therapy.

Nestadt says the genome-wide association study findings of a PTRPD-OCD link add to evidence that the genetic region they identified is important. The gene has already been shown in animals to be possibly involved in learning and memory, traits influenced by OCD in humans. Moreover, some cases of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been associated with the gene, and OCD and ADHD have some symptoms in common. He says the gene also works with another gene family, SLITRK, which has also been associated with OCD in animals.

"OCD research has lagged behind other psychiatric disorders in terms of genetics," Nestadt says. "We hope this interesting finding brings us closer to making better sense of it — and helps us find ways to treat it."


Other Johns Hopkins researchers involved in the study include Jack Samuels, Ph.D; Ying Wang, M.S.; Marco A. Grados, M.D., M.P.H.; Mark A. Riddle, M.D.; Bernadette A. Cullen, M.B., B.Ch., B.A.O., M.R.C.Psych; O. Joseph Bienvenu, M.D., Ph.D.; Kung-Yee Liang, Ph.D.; Fernando S. Goes, M.D.; Brion Maher, Ph.D.; Ann E. Pulver, Sc.D.; and David Valle, M.D. Researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark, the Harvard School of Public Health, Brown University's Alpert Medical School, the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and the University of British Columbia.

The OCD Collaborative Genetics Association Study is a collaborative research study funded by NIMH (MH071507, MH079489, MH079487, MH079488 and MH079494).

Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM), headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, is a $6.7 billion integrated global health enterprise and one of the leading health care systems in the United States. JHM unites physicians and scientists of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with the organizations, health professionals and facilities of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System. JHM's vision, "Together, we will deliver the promise of medicine," is supported by its mission to improve the health of the community and the world by setting the standard of excellence in medical education, research and clinical care. Diverse and inclusive, JHM educates medical students, scientists, health care professionals and the public; conducts biomedical research; and provides patient-centered medicine to prevent, diagnose and treat human illness. JHM operates six academic and community hospitals, four suburban health care and surgery centers, and more than 30 primary health care outpatient sites. The Johns Hopkins Hospital, opened in 1889, was ranked number one in the nation for 21 years in a row by U.S. News & World Report.

Johns Hopkins Medicine, 901 South Bond St., Suite 550, Baltimore, MD 21231 United States

Stephanie Desmon | Eurek Alert!
Further information:

Further reports about: Health Medicine NIMH OCD animals behavioral disorder genome-wide

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Scientists develop tiny tooth-mounted sensors that can track what you eat
22.03.2018 | Tufts University

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>