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Article Date: 10 Sep 2010 – 1:00 PDT

Pediatric-onset obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and Tourette’s disorder (TD) share similarities in their underlying genetic and environmental factors, psychiatric features, and treatment methods. Advances in understanding the neurobiological basis of these disorders and discovering new and more effective therapies are highlighted in a special issue on OCD and TD in Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The entire issue is available free online here.

Guest editors Barbara J. Coffey, MD, MS, from the New York University Child Study Center, and Judith Rapoport, MD Chief, Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, NIH describe the current reality of these challenging neuropsychiatric disorders in the editorial, “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Tourette’s Disorder: Where Are We Now?” They conclude that “studies are still few, and validated predictors, moderators and mediators of treatment response are still very much needed.”

Riluzole, a drug approved for treating patients with the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), has shown promise in psychiatric conditions such as OCD in children and is currently being studied in a clinical trial that will assess its efficacy and side effects in young people who have not benefited from standard-of-care treatments. Paul Grant, Jane Song, and Susan Swedo from the National Institute of Mental Health (Bethesda, MD) describe the potential for riluzole to help control OCD symptoms based on its ability to block the release of glutamate from nerve cells. Although the drug appears to be generally well tolerated at therapeutic doses, cases of pancreatitis in children, an uncommon adverse effect associated with riluzole use, are cause for concern, as the authors report in the article, “Review of the Use of the Glutamate Antagonist Riluzole in Psychiatric Disorders and a Description of Recent Use in Childhood Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.” 

Read in Full:  http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/200527.php



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