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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2008 Nov;47(11):1262-72. doi: 10.1097/CHI.0b013e318185d2be.

Brain imaging in pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Wayne State University, USA.



To review progress in understanding pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The focus is on the frontal-striatal-thalamic model of OCD, neurobiological and genetic studies of the disorder, and their influence on recent advances in treatment.


Computerized literature searches were conducted with the key words "obsessive-compulsive disorder" in conjunction with "pediatric," "genetics," and "imaging."


Neuroimaging studies find evidence to support the frontal-striatal-thalamic model. Genetic and neurochemical studies also implicate glutamate in the pathological finding of OCD. This has led to the application of glutamate-modulating agents to treat OCD.


Studies of pediatric OCD have led to a refined frontal-striatal-thalamic model of pathogenesis and are having an evidence-based impact on treatment. Despite this progress, fully explanatory models are still needed that would allow for accurate prognosis and the development of targeted and efficacious treatments.

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