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The chance discovery of a gene responsible for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) could lead to new strategies for treating the condition, US researchers have claimed.
Mice that were born without the Sapap3 gene were found to be extremely anxious and compulsively groomed their faces until they bled.
Originally, the US research team had been using mice to investigate how brain cells communicated with each other.
The team focused their studies on the striatum region of the brain where the scaffolding protein Sapap3 is known to play a crucial role in allowing nerve signals to travel across synapses.
The researchers decided to investigate the …