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Genetic Mutation Linked to Obsessive Disorder

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

U.S. and Japanese researchers said Thursday they had found a genetic mutation that causes obsessive-compulsive disorder and other mental illnesses and said some patients had a second mutation that made their conditions more severe.

The finding, reported in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, could make it easier to discover treatments for the disorder, one of the top 10 leading causes of disability worldwide.

The gene is called the human serotonin transporter gene, hSERT, and helps control how the body uses serotonin, a message-carrying chemical or neurotransmitter linked with mood. People with two mutations in the gene had a more severe form of the disorder.


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