Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Family Phenotypes Provide Insight into OCD. (DSM-IV Criteria 'Not Refined Enough')

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Family Phenotypes Provide Insight into OCD. (DSM-IV Criteria 'Not Refined Enough')

Article excerpt

MIAMI BEACH - Symptom clusters in families with complex disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette's syndrome can reveal the genetics that drive these conditions and their common comorbidities.

This kind of approach of looking at comorbidity in relatives can be very fruitful. "If we can simplify things and look at symptom duster factors, you may see a dearer picture of how OCD and comorbidities occur," David L. Pauls, Ph.D., said at a meeting on mood and anxiety disorders sponsored by the University of Miami.

Dr. Pauls and his colleagues evaluated 100 people with obsessive-compulsive disorder to determine the rates of affective disorders among them, their relatives, and control participants. Those with OCD were highly comorbid. Of the 100 index cases, 65 also had general anxiety disorder and 41 had panic disorder.

The researchers determined that 47 of their relatives also had OCD, 53 had general anxiety disorder, and 29 had panic disorder. Lower rates in relatives suggest they are less comorbid. But relatives who also had an OCD diagnosis were likewise highly comorbid for at least one non-OCD anxiety disorder, said Dr. Pauls, professor of psychiatry (genetics) at Harvard Medical School, Boston.

The age of onset of the index case made a difference. "Early-onset cases tend to be the more familial," Dr. Pauls said. "These are really early cases of OCD" by age 10. Early-onset OCD in children predisposes their relatives to both OCD and comorbidities such as general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or major depressive disorder. Relatives of those with later onset still experience comorbidities but at lower rates.

"Comorbidity may be higher with earlier onset because people have lived longer with the condition," said Dr. Pauls, who is also director of the psychiatric and neurodevelopmental genetics unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.