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New model brings obsessive-compulsive disorder cure closer to reality

Posted On: Sept. 27, 2011

Washington, Sept 17 (ANI): University of Chicago researchers have created a new model of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that mimics both symptoms of the disease and the timing of its treatment in humans.

Using the model, researchers isolated a single neurotransmitter receptor in a specific brain region responsible for their model's OCD-like symptoms, offering new insight into the cause of the disorder.

Further research with the model may point the way to new treatments for both OCD and autism, said Nancy Shanahan, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago, and lead author of the study.

"Treatment for these people is greatly needed, and there really are very few highly valid animal models of the disorder," indicated Shanahan.

"Having one that seems to mimic the disorder so well, especially in terms of the time course of treatments that work in humans, is potentially very useful for researching novel therapeutics," she stated.

Stephanie Dulawa, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neuroscience and senior author of the study, added, "Our model can make accurate predictions about what you see in OCD, and that gives us confidence that the underlying neurobiology is likely to be similar between the model and the actual disorder."

The study was published in Biological Psychiatry. (ANI)

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