The genetic studies of obsessive-compulsive disorder and its future directions

Yonsei Med J. 2006 Aug 31;47(4):443-54. doi: 10.3349/ymj.2006.47.4.443.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by recurrent and persistent thoughts (obsessions), and repetitive behaviors or mental acts (compulsions). In Korea, an epidemiological study reported that the lifetime prevalence of OCD in the population was greater than two percent. The exact cause of OCD is still unknown. Evidence from familial, twin and segregation studies supports the role of a genetic component in the etiology of OCD. In addition, there is growing evidence that OCD has a specific neurochemical and neuroanatomical basis. According to this evidence, researchers have selected various candidate genes which have been implicated in the neurophysiology of OCD, and differences of allelic variants in OCD patients and controls have been analyzed. In this review we will introduce the results of previous genetic studies of OCD which have been performed in other populations, including twin studies, family studies, segregation analyses, linkage analyses, and association studies. In addition to these studies, we will present the results of our genetic studies of OCD performed in Korea.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Family Health
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / genetics
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / genetics*
  • Serotonin / genetics


  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Serotonin
  • Dopamine