Genetic explanation for OCD

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  • Genetic explanation for OCD
    • Genetic Hypothesis
      • More closely related the family member is to the OCD patient the greater their chance of inheriting it.
      • We inherit a predisposition to develop anxiety disorders.
      • We don't know that much about genetic factors which contribute to OCD. May influence brain structure in some way.
    • Family studies
      • (Genetic hypothesis) 1st degree relatives share 50% of genes.
      • Studies compare rates of OCD in first degree relatives of someone with OCD (proband) with similar families without OCD.
    • Twin Studies
      • Compare differences in concordance rate for identical (MZ) and fraternal (DZ) twins.
        • Both share the same environment but only MZ twins share the same genetic make up.
        • If OCD is genetic then MZ twins should be more concordant.
    • General AO2
      • Pieces of research for Family studies
        • Pauls et ak
        • Nestadt et al
      • Pieces of research for twin studies
        • Carey and Gottesman
        • Lambert and Kinsley
      • General criticisms
        • Twin and family studies have not always found the same concordance rates.
        • Contradictory studies- Andrews found no evidence for higher concordance rates in MZ twins.
        • Maybe we inherit a predisposition to anxiety rather than OCD specifically
        • Evolutionary explanation that it is hard wired into our brains to be obsessive about something.
        • No specific gene has been identified to cause OCD
    • Issues debates and approaches
      • Nature vs Nurture
        • Family studies and twin studies both disregard the fact that participants share the same environment meaning you cannot disentangle from nurture.
      • Reductionism
        • This is over-simplified to genes.


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