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Brain Protein Linked to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, in Mice

(PSYCHIATRIC TIMES) - DURHAM, N.C., Aug. 22 -- The mystery of obsessive-compulsive disorder may be at least partly solved, with a discovery that implicates a structural protein missing in the brains of certain excessively groomed mice.

Mice lacking the protein exhibit excessive grooming to the point of causing skin damage and increased anxiety, characteristics reminiscent of those in human OCD, Guoping Feng, Ph.D., of Duke, and colleagues, reported in the Aug. 23 issue of Nature.

What's more, treatment with fluoxetine (Prozac) alleviates the symptoms, as it does in about half of human OCD patients, Dr. Feng and colleagues found.

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