Project: Research project

Project Details


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common and disabling
disorder that was until recently relatively unstudied, but is
currently the focus of considerable research into the treatment and
pathophysiology. Broad training is proposed in three phases. The
first involves core studies of the pathophysiology of OCD,
including pharmacological challenges, neuropsychiatric studies,
electrophysiology, peripheral and CSF markers, and diagnostic
assessment. These core studies will be performed at baseline and
again during treatment with serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The
second phase involves development of new studies in OCD, such as
imaging (RCBF, SPECT), additional biological challenges to clarify
issues raided in phase I, evoked potentials pre- and post
challenges, and epidemiologic, pedigree and DNA marker studies of
OCD. The third phase involves comparison of the core findings in
OCD with related disorders. These include comparison with normal
controls, other anxiety controls, such as social phobia and panic
disorder, high risk relatives, patients with concurrent OCD and
major depression (a common occurrence), childhood onset OCD, and
genetically linked disorders such as Tourette's syndrome. Clinical
issues such as the prediction of relapse, and the prediction of
development in high risk relatives, will be addressed. In the
course of these studies, broad training with recognized experts
will be received in several areas, including pharmacological
challenges, neurochemistry, neuropsychology, imaging, epidemiology,
electrophysiology, Tourette's syndrome, childhood onset OCD,
psychopharmacology, and statistics and research design. This
training will develop further expertise, and permit further studies
of the pathophysiology of related disorders.
Effective start/end date12/31/897/31/93


  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Medicine(all)


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