2009 IOCDF Grant

A family study of compulsive hoarding

Jack Samuels, PhD

Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)

Award Amount: $49,660

(At the time of this study, hoarding disorder (HD) not a separate diagnosis from OCD.)

What are the genetic and environmental causes behind compulsive hoarding, and how does compulsive hoarding relate to OCD? Could compulsive hoarding be related to executive functioning — how the brain processes information?

This study by Dr. Samuels and his team aimed to address these questions by looking at the genetics of hoarding symptoms and OCD in families. Through analyzing self-reports from adults with compulsive hoarding and their families, the team wanted to understand if compulsive hoarding runs in families, if there is a family link between hoarding symptoms and OCD, what domains in executive functioning relate to hoarding, and whether childhood adversities act as environmental risk factors.