Harvard Mental Health Letter

In Brief: Mice provide new clues about obsessive-compulsive disorder

In Brief

Mice provide new clues about obsessive-compulsive disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) affects about one in 50 people, and although symptoms vary, it is characterized by recurrent or persistent thoughts, impulses, or images, as well as repetitive actions such as washing hands compulsively. The condition is often disabling.

Duke University researchers did not set out to study OCD. Instead, they wanted to study a protein encoded by a gene known as SAPAP3. They applied a classic research technique: knocking out the gene to determine what happens when the protein is not produced.

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