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Dissecting OCD Circuits: From Animal Models to Targeted Treatments 

Dissecting OCD Circuits: From Animal Models to Targeted Treatments
Dissecting OCD Circuits: From Animal Models to Targeted Treatments

Susanne E. Ahmari

and Darin D. Dougherty

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date: 11 August 2020

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic, severe mental illness with up to 2–3% prevalence worldwide. OCD has been classified as one of the world’s 10 leading causes of illness-related disability according to WHO, largely because of the chronic nature of disabling symptoms. Despite the severity and high prevalence of this chronic and disabling disorder, there is still relatively limited understanding of its pathophysiology. However, this is now rapidly changing due to development of powerful technologies that can be used to dissect the neural circuits underlying pathologic behaviors. This chapter describes recent technical advances that have allowed neuroscientists to start identifying the circuits underlying complex repetitive behaviors using animal model systems. It also reviews current surgical and stimulation-based treatments for OCD that target circuit dysfunction. Finally, it discusses how findings from animal models may be applied in the clinical arena to help inform and refine targeted brain stimulation-based treatment approaches.

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