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Science News About Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Exposure / Ritual Prevention Therapy Boosts Antidepressant Treatment of OCD

Science Update

A form of behavioral therapy augmented antidepressant treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) better than an antipsychotic.

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Twitter Chat on PANDAS/PANS

Science Update

NIMH experts discuss childhood rapid-onset OCD during our next Twitter chat on May 8, 2013.

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Possible Causes of Sudden Onset OCD in Kids Broadened

Press Release

The syndrome, Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS), includes children and teens that suddenly develop on-again/off-again OCD symptoms or abnormal eating behaviors, along with other psychiatric symptoms – without any known cause. An immune-based treatment study is underway at NIH.

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Adding Psychotherapy to Medication Treatment Improves Outcomes in Pediatric OCD

Science Update

Youth with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) who are already taking antidepressant medication benefit by adding a type of psychotherapy called cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), according to an NIMH-funded study published September 21, 2011, in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Mice with Autism-related Mutations Replicate Autism-like Behaviors

Science Update

Mice bred to harbor mutations similar to those discovered in people with autism show autism-like repetitive behaviors and social impairments. The behaviors, triggered by deletions in a gene called SHANK3, implicated in some cases of autism, were traced to weak neural connections for functions disturbed in autism.

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Silenced Gene for Social Behavior Found in Autism

Science Update

For the first time, inherited disruption of gene expression in a brain system for social behavior has been implicated in autism. NIMH grantee Margaret Pericak-Vance, Ph.D., at the University of Miami and Simon Gregory, Ph.D., at Duke University, and a multinational team of researchers found evidence for such epigenetic effects on the gene for the oxytocin receptor -- part of a brain system that mediates social behaviors disturbed in autism. The findings suggest a potential genetic biomarker for the disorder.

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Journal Highlights Effectiveness of Research Based Psychotherapies for Youth

Science Update

Reviews of the current research on psychosocial and behavioral therapies, or psychotherapies, for children and adolescents found a number of well established and probably efficacious treatments for many mental disorders. For example, six were probably efficacious for anxiety disorders, and two were well established for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to scientists funded by NIMH and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, divisions of the National Institutes of Health.

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OCD Risk Higher When Several Variations in Gene Occur Together

Science Update

Several variations within the same gene act together to raise the risk of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), new NIMH research suggests. The gene produces a protein that helps make the brain chemical serotonin available to brain cells.

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Gene Triggers Obsessive Compulsive Disorder-Like Syndrome in Mice

Press Release

Using genetic engineering, researchers have created an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) - like set of behaviors in mice and reversed them with antidepressants and genetic targeting of a key brain circuit. The study, by National Institutes of Health (NIH) -funded researchers, suggests new strategies for treating the disorder.

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Half of Adults With Anxiety Disorders Had Psychiatric Diagnoses in Youth

Science Update

About half of adults with an anxiety disorder had symptoms of some type of psychiatric illness by age 15, a NIMH-funded study shows.

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