The OCD collaborative genetics study: methods and sample description.

Mark McIntosh,'s picture
PubMed URL:
Nestadt G
Author List: 
Samuels JF
Riddle MA
Greenberg BD
Fyer AJ
McCracken JT
Rauch SL
Murphy DL
Grados MA
Pinto A
Knowles JA
Piacentini J
Cannistraro PA
Cullen B
Bienvenu OJ 3rd
Rasmussen SA
Pauls DL
Willour VL
Shugart YY
Liang KY
Hoehn-Saric R
Nestadt G
Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet
PubMed ID: 
Results from twin and family studies suggest that obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may be transmitted in families but, to date, genes for the disorder have not been identified. The OCD Collaborative Genetics Study (OCGS) is a six-site collaborative genetic linkage study of OCD. Specimens and blinded clinical data will be made available through the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) cell repository. In this initial report, we describe the methods of the study and present clinical characteristics of affected individuals for researchers interested in this valuable resource for genetic studies of OCD. The project clinically evaluated and collected blood specimens from 238 families containing 299 OCD-affected sibling pairs and their parents, and additional affected relative pairs, for a genome-wide linkage study. Of the 999 individuals interviewed to date, 624 were diagnosed with "definite" OCD. The mean age of subjects was 36 years (range 7-95). The majority of affected individuals (66%) were female. The mean age at onset of obsessive-compulsive symptoms was 9.5 years. Specific mood disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and skin picking were more prevalent in female cases, whereas tics, Tourette disorder, and alcohol dependence were more prevalent in male cases. Compared to "definite" cases of OCD, "probable" cases (n = 82) had, on average, later age at onset of obsessive-compulsive symptoms, lower severity score, and fewer numbers of different categories of obsessions and compulsions, and they were less likely to have received treatment for their symptoms.
Published Date: 
April, 2006

Bradley L. Schlaggar, M.D., Ph.D., Named President and CEO of Kennedy Krieger Institute

We’re thrilled to welcome Bradley L. Schlaggar, M.D., Ph.D., to the Kennedy Krieger family as our next President and CEO.

Learn more.

Appointments & Referrals



Read inspiring stories, news and updates about the Institute's patient care, research, special education, professional training, and community programs.


Resource Finder


A free resource that provides access to information and support for individuals and families living with developmental disabilities.