Tuesday, August 4, 2009

WSU prof ties chemical to obsessive disorder


Kenneth Lang, the 56-year-old Dearborn resident who kept more than 100 Chihuahuas in a home raided in July, exhibited an extreme form of obsessive-compulsive disorder called hoarding.

The OCD evolved from frequent hand-washing when he was a child, his family said.

The childhood link to OCD is not surprising, said Dr. David Rosenberg, a Children's Hospital of Michigan psychiatrist and Wayne State University researcher.

About 80% of adults with OCD started exhibiting symptoms when young, and the illness, he said, is as common as juvenile diabetes and asthma.

Rosenberg and a growing number of researchers say they believe the imbalance of a brain chemical called glutamate could explain OCD.

He is to discuss the findings on ABC's "Primetime," expected to air today (10 p.m., Channel 7).

Rosenberg said glutamate keeps the fear center of the brain on high alert, even when there is nothing to be afraid of..." More