A GoodTherapy.org News Update A GoodTherapy.org News Update

Chemical Implicated in Pediatric Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

A GoodTherapy.org News Update

Obsessive compulsive dsorder, or OCD, is a condition that affects some one to three percent of the American population. Most commonly associated with intrusive thoughts, unrealistic fears, and a repetitive behavior of some type, OCD can be a debilitating condition for people in all professions and in all walks of life, detracting from everything from family and romantic relationships to daily productivity and self-expression. While the overt symptoms of the disorder are somewhat widely known, one fact about OCD in particular tends to stay hidden: at least 80% of cases begin in childhood. These early instances of OCD can have a major impact on a child’s quality of life, and the search for causes –and improved treatment– for the condition has been in full swing for quite some time.

Recently, a major development in this search occurred for a collaborative team hailing from Wayne State University, the University of Michigan, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, the University of Toronto, and the Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto, Ontario. A remarkably large and diverse set of mental health professionals, the team sought to identify possible chemical indications for OCD in children. Using a combination of brain imaging and genetic studies, the researchers were able to isolate the chemical glutamate, as they reported in the
March issue of Brain Imaging and Behavior. David Rosenberg, a lead authority in the research, explains that glutamate helps to regulate the brain’s production of and access to serotonin and other neurotransmitters, and that an excess of this chemical logically has an adverse effect on the brain’s operation. The study is likely to have a significant impact on treatment methods for OCD, incorporating new glutamate-conscious medicines, which can be helpful in combination with effective psychotherapy.



© Copyright 2009 by By John Smith. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Rene

    May 4th, 2009 at 5:35 AM

    What is this glutamate? Is this something like those people who have to follow a gluten free diet? I would love to hear more information on this. I would not be surprised at all if there are more disorders which are related to diet.

  • Cindy

    May 5th, 2009 at 1:52 AM

    I have know people who are really obsessive about a cleanliness, especially with their house. They seem to freak out when one little thing is out of place. I often if therapy would help these individuals.

  • Sam

    May 5th, 2009 at 5:19 AM

    There are so many chemicals that are unnecessary and who knows what kind of havoc they are playing with our overall health. Haven’t people implicated vaccines with causing autism and things like common household and carpet cleaners in causing other serious illnesses in children? Just one more reason to go green. Not only will we be saving the planet but potentially our own lives!

  • Molly

    May 6th, 2009 at 2:01 AM

    Isn’t glutamate a form of sugar? I can’t even imagine this causing or having some affect on OCD. I’m glad we have these tests and studies to show what a lot of chemicals can do to the body, let alone the brain.

  • Michelle

    May 6th, 2009 at 5:08 AM

    We really have to pay better attention to the things that we are introducing into our childrens lives. Sometimes we have no idea just how detrimental many of these things could be to their overall health. We are not talking colds and viruses here, we are talking about serious long term illnesses like OCD and others that can harm their lives for a very long time. I am not saying that we all have to become tree huggers or anything like that but it is a good idea to read ingredient labels on the things that you bring home for your family and to be aware of the many hidden dangers that there are in common everyday goods. This does not make you strange just educated.

  • Nan

    May 10th, 2009 at 12:11 PM

    If there really is this much proof that so many of these harmful chemicals are a part of our daily lives then why is there not any official action being taken to remove them from the things we use everyday? Do these businesses have that much of a say in Washington that politicians are afraid to go up against them or stand to lose a lot of political and campaign funding? Has that what all of this has come down to?

  • Jacqueline

    May 12th, 2009 at 3:41 AM

    That’s just it- money talks and big business still rules in this country.

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