Genetic Understanding of OCD and Spectrum Disorders

Jack F. Samuels, Marco A. Grados, Elizabeth Planalp, O. Joseph Bienvenu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter reviews the evidence for the genetic etiology of OCD and spectrum conditions. A genetic basis is supported by the familial aggregation of OCD; evidence for involvement of genes of major effect in segregation analyses; and higher concordance for OCD in identical than non-identical twins. Recent studies also support linkage of OCD to specific chromosomal regions and association of OCD with specific genetic polymorphisms. However, specific genes causing OCD have not yet been firmly established. The search for genes is complicated by the clinical and etiologic heterogeneity of OCD, as well as the possibility of gene-gene and gene-environmental interactions. Despite this complexity, developments in molecular and statistical genetics, and further refinement of the phenotype hold promise for further deepening our genetic understanding of OCD and spectrum disorders in the coming decade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Obsessive Compulsive and Spectrum Disorders
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199940561
ISBN (Print)9780195376210
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012


  • Candidate genes
  • Family studies
  • Genetic association
  • Genetic linkage
  • Genetics
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Twin studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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