Dog News, Blazing Trails in OCD

by Mary Haight on January 5, 2010

I just got off the phone with Tom Keppeler, PR contact at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine regarding the news that dogs are blazing trails for themselves and humans in OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) studies

After reading about Cummings work with Dobermans, the canine form of OCD (CCD), and the identification of the OCD gene I wanted to get a better picture of what that research entailed.

“Research came from spontaneous illness…Dobs were brought to our behavior clinic and were qualified as participants and with owner’s approval and consent, blood work testing for diabetes and other illnesses was done, which is routine for nearly any patient at the behavior clinic.  Broad Institute at MIT did the genetic sequencing from that blood and the analysis of findings was done by University Of Massachusetts program in medical genetics.  

This three-way partnership was very  interesting and integrated results without  pain to the animals.  This will unlock new therapeutics for CCD and humans with OCD down the line. It will also provide a better quality of  life to the offsprings Labs, Dobs, Bull Dogs and other canines with this genetic disorder.”

And here’s a useful quote from this afternoon’s Cummings press release:

“This lead is so intriguing that we look forward to working with Dr. Dodman’s group [Cummings behaviorists] to extend our current findings to other populations.” added Dr. Marzena Galdzicka, assistant professor of Clinical Pathology at UMass Medical School. Collaborations are already in progress with Dr. Dennis Murphy’s group at the National Institute of Mental Health to determine the extent to which CDH2 confers risk for human OCD and autism spectrum disorders.”

Thanks for the good news, Tom! I’ll have to say it again–how much more can dogs possibly give us?

More Information: Carolyn Y Johnson‘s story at the Boston Globe


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mary E Haight, dogspelledfwd. dogspelledfwd said: RT @dancingdogblog: Talked to Tom Keppeler today over at Tufts regarding the ID of the OCD gene in dogs […]

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