Purpose of review: Here, we propose to review the immuno-inflammatory hypothesis in OCD given the concurrent incidence of autoimmune comorbidities, infectious stigma, and raised levels of inflammatory markers in a significant subset of patients. A better understanding of the immune dysfunction in OCD may allow stratifying the patients in order to design personalized pharmaco/psychotherapeutic strategies.
Recent findings: A persistent low-grade inflammation involving both innate and adaptive immune system with coexisting autoimmune morbidities and stigma of infectious events has been prominently observed in OCD. Hence, specific treatments targeting inflammation/infection are a feasible alternative in OCD. This review highlights that OCD is associated with low-grade inflammation, neural antibodies, and neuro-inflammatory and auto-immune disorders. In some subset of OCD patients, autoimmunity is likely triggered by specific bacterial, viral, or parasitic agents with overlapping surface epitopes in CNS. Hence, subset-profiling in OCD is warranted to benefit from distinct immune-targeted treatment modalities.
Keywords: Autoimmunity; Infections; Inflammation; OCD.