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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD, is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Repetitive behaviors such as handwashing, counting, checking, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these so-called “rituals,” however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety. Learn more about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

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Featured Studies

Featured studies include only those currently recruiting participants. Studies with the most recent start date appear first.

Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS)

Study Type: Observational
Start Date: March 20, 2018
Locations: Tucson, Arizona; Stanford, California; Wilmington, Delaware; Tampa, Florida; Bethesda, Maryland; Boston, Massachusetts; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Columbia, Missouri
Eligibility: Ages 3 and Older, Accepts Healthy Volunteers


PANS is an illness that comes on suddenly in children. The full name is Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome. It can cause sudden obsessive-compulsive behaviors. It can also cause children to suddenly restricte their food intake. Researchers want to learn more about children with PANS. They also want to learn more about the illness.


To study some disorders of behavior and emotion that start in childhood.


Children 3 14 years old who have had severe obsessive-compulsive symptoms or food restriction start quickly


Parents will answer questions. The topics include:

Their child s medical history

Their child s physical and mental health

Their family history. The focus will be on neurodevelopmental and psychiatric conditions. A family tree will be drawn.

Participants will have a physical exam.

Participants may take tests on paper or computer. These will focus on thinking, memory, and behavior.

Participants and parents will give a blood sample.

Participants will have magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A strong magnetic field and radio waves take pictures of the brain. Participants will lie on a table that slides in and out of a metal scanner.

Participants may have photos or videos taken.

Participants may have other tests. These may include heart tests, sleep tests, and lumbar puncture.

Sponsoring Institute: National Institute of Mental Health


Enhancing Treatment of Hoarding Disorder With Personalized In-Home Sorting and Decluttering Practice

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: September 30, 2016
Location: Stanford, California
Eligibility: Ages 18–65, Accepts Healthy Volunteers

The proposed study aims to investigate the efficacy of adding in-home decluttering practice to Buried in Treasures Workshop (BIT) facilitated group treatment for hoarding disorder.

Neurofeedback for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Study Type: Interventional
Start Date: July 31, 2015
Location: New Haven, Connecticut
Eligibility: Ages 18–65, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers

The aim of this study is to train patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder to control a region of their brain that has been associated with their symptoms. Patients in the experimental group will be given direct feedback regarding activity in this brain area while they are undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanning, and will try to learn to control activity in the region during these feedback sessions. A separate group of patients will be given a control form of feedback that we do not believe can have clinical benefits. Our primary hypothesis is that the neurofeedback training will reduce OCD symptoms more than the control feedback.

Studying Childhood-onset Behavioral, Psychiatric, and Developmental Disorders

Study Type: Observational
Start Date: January 26, 2013
Location: Bethesda, Maryland
Eligibility: Ages N/A–99, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers


- Many psychiatric, behavioral, and developmental disorders are genetic. This means that they tend to run in families. Some begin in childhood, while others do not appear until adulthood. Researchers want to look at people of all ages who have these disorders that started in childhood. They will also look at relatives of people with these disorders. This information will allow doctors to learn more about childhood behavioral problems and how they are inherited. It may also help doctors treat those disorders.


- To study the onset and treatment of childhood behavioral, psychiatric, and developmental disorders.


- Individuals of any age who have a psychiatric, autism spectrum, or developmental disorder, or other behavioral problems.

- Family members of individuals with the above disorders. This group may include parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles, cousins, and children.


- Participants will be screened with a medical history and physical exam. They will have a psychiatric history with tests of thinking, judgment, and behavior. Blood and urine samples will be collected. Brain imaging scans will be performed to look at brain function. They may have a spinal tap to collect cerebrospinal fluid.

- Relatives will have a medical history and physical exam. They will also have a psychiatric history with tests of thinking, judgment, and behavior. Blood and urine samples will be collected. Brain imaging scans will be performed to look at brain function.

- A relative s exams may reveal a behavioral or other disorder. If so, he or she may re-enroll on the study as a person with the disorder.

Physiological Brain Atlas Development

Study Type: Observational
Start Date: August 31, 2006
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Eligibility: Ages 6–90, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers

The NIH grant has funded the development of a physiological brain atlas registry that will allow us to significantly improve the data collectioin and use of physiological data into a normalized brain volume. This initially was used to improve DBS implants for Parkinson's Disease, Dystonia, Essential Tremor, and OCD, but now includes data acquired during all stereotactic brain procedures.