This study examines potentially heritable traits of pediatric OCD through MRI and EEG-fMRI scans on OCD-affected youth, their siblings and healthy, non-affected participants.
By using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to compare the brain structure and function of those with different levels of genetic risk of OCD, we aim to identify the regions and pathways that significantly differ between three groups (OCD-affected patients, at-risk siblings and non-affected subjects). Future studies will investigate the specific genes associated with these brain areas and neural firing patterns.
Interested subjects will be contacted over the phone to ensure that they are eligible for the study and can undergo an MRI scan, i.e. they do not have metal in their bodies, do not have claustrophobia, are not pregnant, etc. They will also be asked to complete the Anxiety Disorder Interview Schedule (ADIS) to establish lifetime psychiatric diagnoses. Participants will be given the option to complete some of the study questionnaires before the day of testing through the secure web app REDcap.
Participants will also attend a three-hour visit at the BC Children’s Hospital MRI Research Facility. There, they will undergo an fMRI scan to capture brain functioning profiles at rest and during planning, response inhibition, and symptom provocation. These tasks have been shown to successfully target brain regions implicated in OCD.
The study will contribute to knowledge of the structural and functional neurocircuitry involved in OCD. The findings could potentially help predict whether individuals are at risk of developing OCD, as well as aid in diagnosis of the disorder. Knowledge of the underlying causes of OCD may also lead to improved treatment methods.