The Future of Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders: A Research Perspective

T. Vats, N. A. Fineberg, E. Hollander

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) sits at the epicenter of a spectrum of related conditions (often referred to as obsessive-compulsive related disorders (OCRD) or obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders (OCSD)) that can be as disabling as they are varied in presentation. Research in the field now encompasses diverse disciplines ranging from inflammatory mechanisms to computational psychiatry, to neurocognitive endophenotypes to functional imaging to pharmacogenomics to brain stimulation approaches. As these disorders become more clearly elucidated, there is a need to continually re-evaluate the implications of research findings and to incorporate these findings into new treatment approaches that benefit both patients and clinicians. Even the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition (DSM-5) is intended to be flexible and to incorporate validated and reliable biomarkers and neuroscience findings as they become available. This concluding chapter highlights just a few areas of study that promise to influence our understanding of the pathophysiology and clinical practice of OCRD. These include patient-centered outcomes research, the study of developmental brain trajectories in spectrum conditions, robot models of OCRDs, goal-directed versus habit-based behaviors, pharmacogenomics, problematic use of the Internet, and digital interventions. For example, digital medicine may become increasingly useful by identifying patients early on in the course of their illness; providing biomarkers to subtype patients; predicting treatment response; serving as a more proximal outcome measure of treatment response; or providing easily accessible and less costly forms of care. In order to address unmet clinical needs in OCRD, it is helpful to take an interdisciplinary perspective, and the work described in this collection of articles is likely to be invaluable in shaping the future of the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCurrent Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
ISSN (Print)1866-3370
ISSN (Electronic)1866-3389


  • Digital interventions
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Patient-centered outcomes research
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Problematic use of the Internet (PUI)
  • Robot model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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