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Animal Models of OCD: A Conceptual Framework 

Animal Models of OCD: A Conceptual Framework
Animal Models of OCD: A Conceptual Framework

Christopher Pittenger

, Stephanie Dulawa

, and Summer L. Thompson

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date: 26 June 2022

Obsessive-compulsive disorder and related conditions are characterized by demonstrable alterations in brain function, and aspects of these may, in principle, be recapitulated and studied in animals. However, the relationship between animal models and the clinical syndrome is complex. Many clinical aspects of OCD, especially those that can only be evaluated by subjective report, cannot be assessed in an animal. As a result, some discount the utility of animal modeling of OCD altogether. However, conservation of both genes and brain anatomy across mammalian species supports the opposite perspective, that key aspects of the pathophysiology of OCD and related disorders can be recapitulated in animals, and thus fruitfully studied in model systems. This introductory chapter addresses these issues, seeking to identify both the strengths and the limitations of animal studies as contributors to our understanding of OCD. This discussion provides a framework for the more specific material about particular animal models presented in this section.

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