IOCDF Genetics Collaborative

The IOCDF Genetics Collaborative is a group of genetics investigators from North America, South America, Europe and Africa. The Collaborative, which includes more than 50 members, held its organizational meeting at the IOCDF Annual OCD Conference in 2002. It has met on an annual basis since that time.

The Collaborative was set up to allow those investigators specializing in genetics to collaborate with one another and to share their findings and DNA samples. The overall goal of the Collaborative is to identify the genetic causes of OCD. The approach that investigators are taking is a systematic screening of the entire genome to identify as the susceptibility genes. At this point researchers do not know who will develop OCD and who is protected from it. Learning which genes are involved is very important because this knowledge will lead to a greater understanding of how OCD develops and ultimately to finding more effective treatments for OCD.

While no one knows which genes cause OCD or prevents it, investigators in the Collaborative have established from family studies that there is an increased risk OCD in the relatives of individuals with the disorder. The statistical analyses that have been done thus far by members of the Collaborative indicate that a major genetic component is involved in the occurrence of OCD in families. However, no specific OCD genes have been identified.

The Genetics Collaborative Board meets every year to review and update their findings. They go on to present key research at the IOCDF’s Annual OCD Conference each summer. What our Collaborative members need to move this research along is families who are willing to take part in their studies. If you are interested in participating in one of these studies, please call the IOCDF at (617) 973-5801 and ask for information on genetic studies around the US or visit our Research Participants Sought listings.