Berlin : Absence of a protein may trigger the obsessive-compulsive disorder that can lead to repetitive ritualised behaviour such as washing hands or body time and again, a new study has found. An overactive molecular signal pathway in the brain region of the amygdala can lead to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), researchers from University of Wurzburg in Germany said.
Some people have an extreme fear of dirt or bacteria. As a result, they may develop a habit of compulsive washing and repeatedly cleaning their hands or body. They are trapped in a vicious circle, as the fear of new contamination returns quickly after washing. Around two per cent of the general population suffer from some kind of OCD at least once in their life.
The disorder is characterised by persistent intrusive thoughts which the sufferers try to compensate for by repetitive ritualised behaviour. Like depression, eating disorders and other mental diseases, OCD is treated with antidepressants. However, the drugs are non-specific, that is they are not tailored to the respective disease.