Genetic factors

Several studies have shown that OCD is much more common among relatives of individuals with OCD than would be expected from estimated occurrence rates for the general population/37) Lenane et al.(38) investigating 147 first-degree relatives of children and adolescents with OCD found that 44 per cent of the families had a positive history of tics in at least one first-, second-, or third-degree relative. Pauls et al.(39) reported that the prevalence rates of OCD and tic disorders were significantly greater among the first-degree relatives of 100 probands with OCD (10.3 per cent and 4.6 per cent respectively) than among relatives of psychiatrically unaffected subjects (1.9 per cent and 1.0 per cent). It has been suggested that at least some forms of OCD could be genetically related to Tourette's disorder. The pattern of vertical transmission among family members in Tourette's disorder has led to specific genetic hypotheses favouring models of autosomal dominant transmission/19 However, no genetic linkage studies have yet shown the role of a specific gene in the expression of the disorder, even though more than 60 per cent of the genome has been examined so far.

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