Experimental therapeutics for refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder: Translational approaches and new somatic developments

Heather A. Berlin, Holly Hamilton, Eric Hollander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Significant advances over the past 20 years in our understanding of the phenomenology and pathophysiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder, made in part from structural and functional neuroimaging and genetics research, can guide treatments that target brain regions, circuits, and neurotransmitter systems specific to obsessive-compulsive disorder, the disruption of which may alleviate obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms. We discuss here our current understanding of the underlying neurobiology and heritability of obsessive-compulsive disorder and integrate that understanding with a review of the current pharmacological, neurosurgical, and brain stimulation treatments of refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder. Expanding on these studies, we hope that new pharmacological and psychological treatment strategies and research-driven targets for lesioning, stimulation, or other types of focal neuromodulation can be identified that could lead to future research directions. Cross-species translational research and neuroimaging of the physiological and anatomical pathways implicated in the pathophysiology and treatment response in obsessive-compulsive disorder will advance our understanding of the neural basis of obsessive-compulsive disorder and lead to more targeted and effective treatment options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-203
Number of pages30
JournalMount Sinai Journal of Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Caudate nucleus
  • Cingulate gyrus
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Internal capsule
  • Neurosurgery
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Serotonin reuptake inhibitors
  • Therapeutics
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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