The familial phenotype of obsessive-compulsive disorder in relation to tic disorders: The Hopkins OCD family study

Marco A. Grados, Mark A. Riddle, Jack F. Samuels, Kung-Yee Liang, Rudolf Hoehn-Saric, O. Joseph Bienvenu, John T. Walkup, Dong Ho Song, Gerald Nestadt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Scopus citations


Background: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and tic disorders have phenomenological and familial-genetic overlaps. An OCD family study sample that excludes Tourette's syndrome in probands is used to examine whether tic disorders are part of the familial phenotype of OCD. Methods: Eighty case and 73 control probands and their first-degree relatives were examined by experienced clinicians using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia-Lifetime Anxiety version. DSM-IV psychiatric diagnoses were ascertained by a best-estimate consensus procedure. The prevalence and severity of tic disorders, age-at-onset of OCD symptoms, and transmission of OCD and tic disorders by characteristics and type of proband (OCD + tic disorder, OCD - tic disorder) were examined in relatives. Results: Case probands and case relatives had a greater lifetime prevalence of tic disorders compared to control subjects. Tic disorders spanning a wide severity range were seen in case relatives; only mild severity was seen in control relatives. Younger age-at-onset of OCD symptoms and possibly male gender in case probands were associated with increased tic disorders in relatives. Although relatives of OCD + tic disorder and OCD - tic disorder probands had similar prevalences of tic disorders, this result is not conclusive. Conclusions: Tic disorders constitute an alternate expression of the familial OCD phenotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-565
Number of pages7
JournalBiological psychiatry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 15 2001


  • Family study
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Tic disorders
  • Tourette's syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry


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