Knocking out compulsive behavior

Lars Klintwall Malmqvist [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a psychiatric disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts, compulsive repetitive actions and, often, anxiety and depression. Its underlying causes and pathology remain largely unknown, although a genetic component has been suggested. Now, scientists have identified a gene whose absence causes OCD-like behavior in mice. The gene encodes Slitrk5, a neuron-specific transmembrane protein that is widely expressed throughout the central nervous system.

Lab Anim. (NY) 39, 160 (2010).
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