Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder. This is characterised by involuntary thoughts (obsession/mania) in which a person caught by maniac condition that produce uneasiness, fear or worry. The repetitive behaviors performed to reduce the associated anxiety (compulsions).
Symptoms of the disorder include excessive washing or cleaning, repeated checking, violent or religious thoughts, disinclination to particular numbers and nervous rituals such as opening and closing a door at certain number of times before entering or leaving a room.
These symptoms, might result in loss of relationships with others, and often cause severe emotional and financial distress.
The acts of those who have OCD may appear potentially psychotic. However, people with OCD generally recognise their obsessions and compulsions as irrational and may become further distressed by this realisation.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) reports psychiatry disorders has affected 0.8 to 2 per cent population worldwide.
A number of psychological and biological factors may be involved in causing obsessive compulsive disorder. Standardised rating scales such as Yale – Brown obsessive compulsive scale can be used to assess the severity of the symptoms. Other disorders with similar symptoms include obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), an autism spectrum disorder.
The major genes involve in OCD are SLC6A4, BDNF, SLC1A1 and COMT genes, however, BDNF and SLC1A1 genes mostly used for research purpose as showed strong relationship with OCD worldwide.
The mutation in DNA sequence of these genes involved in OCD has been studied in detail at Molecular Biology and Genomics Lab, Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Lahore.
The work was carried out under the supervision of Prof Dr Masroor Ellahi Babar and later on Dr James J Cai ’provided his guidance during my work at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas AM University, USA.
Blood samples were collected from the patients being treated for the OCD from the State owned hospitals. The patients belong to either poor or middle class community ranged the age group from 13 years – 50 years old. The main objective of this study was mutation or single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) identification in Pakistani Population in Obsessive Compulsive disorder and analysis of the gene expression of COMT enzyme controlled by COMT gene involved in OCD in Pakistani Population.
We have found one SNP in BDNF gen in all samples and one mutation in COMT gene and two nucleotide changes in SLC6A4 gene in 50 per cent patients and 6 SNPs in SLC1A1 gene in 45 per cent patients of samples. We have also found low expression level of COMT enzyme in OCD patients.
Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology
University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Lahore