Why focus on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?
First, OCD is a major cause of disability worldwide:
- 2-3% of people will develop OCD sometime in their lives (this is double as much as schizophrenia!).
- OCD can start at a young age.
- It is a chronic disease.
- The treatments we have only help some patients!
Second, OCD offers scientists the chance to study the brain circuit abnormalities that cause certain behaviours:
- The core behaviours of OCD (the obsessions and compulsions) are the same in different countries and cultures.
- Some researchers have already discovered specific brain circuit abnormalities in people with OCD.
- Now we want to show that these brain circuit abnormalities are the same in different countries and cultures and can be linked to the core OCD behaviours.
Lastly, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which is a classification standard maintained by the World Health Organization (WHO), will make OCD the lead condition amongst a new group of disorders separate from schizophrenia, depression and anxiety disorders.
- The 5 research centres involved in our project have already advised the WHO about this and have a strong track record of working together.
- This is why our OCD research is so important, because it will help us gain more information on this disease to eventually help doctors and psychologists all over the world understand OCD better and provide better care for their patients.