Genetics of obsessive-compulsive disorder

Abhishek Purty, Gerald Nestadt, Jack Samuels, Biju Viswanath

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has been seen to run in families and genetics help to understand its heritability. In this review, we summarize older studies which focused on establishing the familial nature of OCD, including its various dimensions of symptoms, and we focus on recent findings from studies using both the candidate gene approach and genome-wide association study (GWAS) approach. The family studies and twin studies establish the heritability of OCD. Candidate gene approaches have implicated genes in the serotonergic, glutamatergic, and dopaminergic pathways. GWAS has not produced significant results possibly due to the small sample size. Newer techniques such as gene expression studies in brain tissue, stem cell technology, and epigenetic studies may shed more light on the complex genetic basis of OCD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S37-S43
JournalIndian Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Candidate gene study
  • family study
  • genetics
  • genome-wide association study
  • linkage study
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • twin study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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