Mice shed light on OCD

Rama [creativecommons license] via Wikimedia Commons

An international group of scientists is delving into the genetic basis of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) using mice that are genetically engineered to lack the gene Sapap3, which is involved in neurotransmitter signaling. Deleting Sapap3 resulted in greater anxiety and compulsive grooming to the point of self-injury in these mice. Both the anxiety and excessive grooming were diminished when the mice were treated with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).

Lab Anim. (NY) 36, 8 (2007).
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