Gene linked to canine compulsive disorder identified

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Washington, Jan 7 (ANI): An international team of scientists claim to have identified the gene that appears to play a vital role in compulsive disorder in dogs.

Obsessive compulsive disorder is characterized by time consuming, repetitive behaviours and affects about 2 percent of humans, while the equally distressing canine equivalent, canine compulsive disorder, or CCD, seems to target certain dog breeds, especially Dobermans and Bull Terriers.

Lead researchers Dodman and Moon-Fanelli have found that a canine chromosome 7 locus confers a high risk of compulsive disorder susceptibility.

The chromosome 7 location most significantly associated with CCD is located within the neural cadherin-2 gene, CDH2.

"The CDH2 gene is expressed in the hippocampus, a brain region suspected to be involved in OCD. In addition, this gene oversees structures and processes that are possibly instrumental in propagating compulsive behaviors - for example, the formation and proper functioning of glutamate receptors," said Dr. Nicholas Dodman, professor of clinical sciences at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and the study's lead author.

"The occurrence of repetitive behaviours and similarities in response to drug treatments in both canine CCD and human OCD suggest that common pathways are involved" said Dr. Ginns, professor of Clinical Pathology, Neurology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Neuroscience at UMass Medical School.

Dr. Ginns is hopeful that "our finding will lead to a better understanding of the biology of compulsive disorder and facilitate development of genetic tests, enabling earlier interventions and even treatment or prevention of compulsive disorders in at-risk canines and humans." The findings are published in Molecular Psychiatry. (ANI)

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