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Compulsive Hoarding Linked to Chromosome 14 Region

Hoarding behavior seems to be independent of other OCD symptoms

WEDNESDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have linked hoarding behavior in families with obsessive-compulsive disorder with a region on chromosome 14, according to a report in the March issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Jack Samuels, Ph.D., from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues conducted linkage analysis in 219 multiplex families with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) to determine whether there are chromosome regions linked to compulsive hoarding. Hoarding occurs in about 30 percent of OCD cases and is usually accompanied by more severe illness.

The investigators identified a region on chromosome 14 with a Kong and Cox logarithm of the odds ratio of 2.9 that further increased to 3.7 when the family had more than one hoarding member. Families with fewer than two hoarding relatives also showed linkage to chromosome 3.

"Compulsive hoarding syndrome appears to be a discrete entity, with a characteristic profile of core symptoms that are not strongly correlated with other OCD symptoms, distinct susceptibility genes, and unique neurobiological abnormalities," writes Sanjaya Saxena, M.D., of the University of California, San Diego, in an accompanying editorial.

One of the authors has received support or fees from Medtronic, Cephalon, Cyberonics, Novartis and Pfizer.

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