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Wayne State, SickKids to Team on OCD Gene Studies

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Wayne State University, the University of Toronto/Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), and the Children's Hospital of Michigan an will use a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health in a collaboration that will involve genetics and bioimaging to study genes linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder, WSU said on Monday.

Led by WSU, the "Brain Chemistry and Genetics in Pediatric OCD" project will use the $2.7 million grant to study the role of glutamate in OCD.

"Glutamate is the brain's light switch which helps turn serotonin and other chemicals off and on," David Rosenberg, a professor of psychiatry in WSU's School of Medicine, said in a statement. "Our research has shown that glutamate abnormalities in OCD have significant treatment implications. This new study will further our research by combining imaging and genetics, something never assessed in OCD patients."

Under the collaboration, University of Toronto and SickKids Professor Paul Arnold will lead genetics studies, and the imaging studies will be conducted by Wayne State researchers at the Children's Hospital of Michigan.

"[W]e hope that combining the two powerful techniques of neuroimaging and genetics will help speed up the discovery of risk genes," Arnold said.

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