Mice With OCD Can Mean New Hope For Humans

Science & Space

There may be no torment quite like the sublime looniness that is obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Your hands are clean, the door is locked, you didn’t insult a colleague at work or drive over someone on the way home or mishear the 17 doctors you’ve seen in the past month who told you that no, you really, truly don’t have whatever disease you think you’ve got. And yet you keep washing or locking or checking or worrying.

Most people think they understand OCD — and most people are wrong. It’s not just tidiness, it’s not just fretfulness, and it’s not a glib adjective (“You should see how neat my desk is. I’m so OCD!”). It is, instead, a profound malfunction in various regions of the brain — principally the amygdala, which processes fear, anxiety and other primal emotions — and the mere fact that it is exceedingly treatable with cognitive-behavioral therapy…

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