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The second edition of Spotlight: Pediatric OCD News & Research Updates is here! As a reminder, this quarterly blog series brings you the latest research news and information concerning pediatric OCD, from highlighting work by members of our Scientific & Clinical Advisory Board to the latest headlines in journals and popular media alike. This blog series is part of our larger Spotlight series, which contains monthly updates on OCD research & news, and quarterly features on hoarding disorderpediatric OCD, and BDD.

Spotlight is also available via email so you can receive the latest research news and information directly in your inbox. Sign up to receive our April update, as well as all future issues, by going here and selecting the “Spotlight” option on our email signup form.


Making Headlines

Pediatric OCD advocates and stories making news around the globe 

What It’s Really Like to Live With OCDodystory
Odyssey, March 7, 2016

A personal story shared by Odyssey user Emily Shapiro walks readers through one teenager’s experiences related to OCD throughout high school and college. The author reflects on a statement her therapist once shared with her, encouraging her to think about the disorder as “I am not OCD. I have OCD.”

#MHYALit: 10 Things I Wish You Knew About OCDeverylastword-197x300
School Library Journal, January 27, 2016

YA author Tamara Ireland Stone joins an increasing group of authors interested in exploring mental illness and stigma through their writing with her latest work, Every Last Word. The book tells the story of a girl with OCD who discovers a secret poetry club that changes her life in unexpected ways. “C,” a family friend of Ireland Stone’s who provided the inspiration for the story, was diagnosed with OCD when she was 12 years old. Part review, part discussion, this article features more details about Ireland Stone’s new book, as well as more from C, who wants to “share her experience in hopes of helping those who are struggling with mental illness feel less alone, and to encourage others to see the people around them through a kinder, more compassionate lens.”

My Son’s Invisible Enemy Wakes Us Up at 4 A.M.Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 1.49.38 PM
The Mighty, January 18, 2016

A mother details her family’s experiences related to her son’s OCD in this short article from The Mighty. Her story and the emotions described in the piece were sentiments many people on the IOCDF’s Facebook were able to connect with and relate to.


SCB Showcase

Members of the IOCDF Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board (SCB) are among the best clinicians and investigators in North America who treat and/or conduct research in the field of OCD and related disorders. Here, we recognize an SCB member whose work is turning heads in the scientific community or general public. 

The Mystery of PANDASpandas
Bethesda Magazine, January-February 2016

SCB Member Susan Swedo, MD, serves as an expert source throughout this article on PANDAS/PANS. The article follows the journey of several families with children affected by PANDAS/PANS, from receiving a correct diagnosis to proper treatment. The article also provides background information on what PANDAS/PANS is and how its proposed link to strep throat was originally discovered by Swedo and her team in the 1980s.


Pediatric OCD Research Corner

A quarterly roundup of the latest in pediatric OCD research from scientific journals

Ritualised eating in young people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes ($)OCDjournal
Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, January 2016

Ritualized eating, or specific routines and behaviors related to the consumption of meals and snacks, has been observed as a symptom of OCD in adults, but little is known about these kinds of behaviors as they relate to pediatric OCD. This study, which looked at 397 young patients, found that 25 percent exhibited symptoms of ritualized eating. Results also suggested that those engaging in ritualized eating behaviors were also more likely to have severe OCD and demonstrated less progress or improvement after undergoing CBT treatment. The study concludes with discussion of treatment implications for this population.

Elevated Autism Spectrum Disorder Traits in Young Children with OCD ($)childpsyh
Child Psychiatry & Human Development, February 8, 2016

While past studies have shown a high prevalence of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) traits in both children and adults with psychiatric disorders, a specific prevalence rate has not yet been investigated in young children with OCD. This study uses metrics provided by the Social Communication (SCQ) and the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) to determine if ASD traits were elevated in young children with OCD who do not have a specific ASD diagnosis, and to determine if ASD traits were associated with OCD severity. Results were mixed, as the SRS showed elevated autistic traits in the sample and was associated with OCD severity, while the SCQ did not indicate heightened ASD symptoms. Implications of these results are also discussed.

Clinical Correlates of Hoarding With and Without Comorbid Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms in a Community Pediatric Sample ($)Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 2.07.24 PM
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, February 2016

Researchers sought to assess the prevalence and clinical relationship between hoarding and obsessive compulsive (OC) symptoms in a community-based pediatric sample. Participants were classified into four different groups based on symptom presentations, with results demonstrating that hoarding symptoms occurred in both the presence and absence of obsessive compulsive symptoms. Researchers also found that hoarding symptoms alone also had some unique clinical correlates, in particular, more inattentive ADHD symptoms and fewer anxiety symptoms, and argue these findings suggest that hoarding is distinct from OC traits in youth.


IOCDF Research Resources

Find other research-related resources from the IOCDF, including:

For researchers:

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