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By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on October 21, 2010 

A provocative new theory from researchers at Tel Aviv University suggests untreated strep throat can affect the brain compromising motor and mental functioning.

According to the researchers, this can lead to syndromes such as attention deficit disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Scientists have known that strep throat can lead to problems with a child’s heart, joints or brain if left untreated.

However, scientists have speculated on a link between OCD and childhood infections like strep.

Prof. Daphna Joel and her team of researchers at Tel Aviv University’s Department of Psychology believe they have now scientifically demonstrated that strep can lead to brain dysfunction and OCD.

Dr. Joel says their breakthrough could lead to new drugs for treating OCD, and may in the future prevent the psychiatric disorder altogether.

“It’s almost impossible to show how strep can lead to OCD in humans ― almost all of us, even very young children, have been exposed to the bacterium at one time or another,” says Prof. Joel.

“But childhood seems to provide a distinct window of opportunity for the disorder to take root through strep infection,” she warns.

Working with the world’s leading specialist in strep-related heart disease, Prof. Cunningham, the researchers developed a new animal model to show how exposure to strep affects the brain and leads to a number of physical and mental ailments.

In her Tel Aviv University laboratory, Prof. Joel and Brimberg created an animal model using rats exposed to the strep bacteria. Comparing them to a strep-free control group, Prof. Joel measured a distinct difference in behavior in the strep-exposed animals.

Read in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/10/21/can-strep-throat-lead-to-ocd/19918.html



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