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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2014 Jun;15(6):410-24. doi: 10.1038/nrn3746.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder: an integrative genetic and neurobiological perspective.

Author information

1
1] Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115 USA. [2] Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA. [3] Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit, Center for Human Genetic Research, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.
2
1] Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115 USA. [2] Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.
3
1] Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115 USA. [2] Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA. [3] McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts 02478, USA.

Abstract

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by repetitive thoughts and behaviours that are experienced as unwanted. Family and twin studies have demonstrated that OCD is a multifactorial familial condition that involves both polygenic and environmental risk factors. Neuroimaging studies have implicated the cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical circuit in the pathophysiology of the disorder, which is supported by the observation of specific neuropsychological impairments in patients with OCD, mainly in executive functions. Genetic studies indicate that genes affecting the serotonergic, dopaminergic and glutamatergic systems, and the interaction between them, play a crucial part in the functioning of this circuit. Environmental factors such as adverse perinatal events, psychological trauma and neurological trauma may modify the expression of risk genes and, hence, trigger the manifestation of obsessive-compulsive behaviours.

PMID:
24840803
DOI:
10.1038/nrn3746
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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