Youth OCD Study

Participants: 8-17 year olds with OCD for a 12-week sertraline and brain imaging study. The purpose of this study is to explore the effects of sertraline on brain circuitry in children and adolescents with OCD. Participants with OCD will receive no-cost, study related appointments with a child/adolescent psychiatrist. The study is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and led by child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Gail Bernstein.

What is OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by unwanted and intrusive thoughts, images, or urges (obsessions), and/or repetitive, ritualized behaviors (compulsions). OCD affects 1-3% of children and adolescents.

The following are common types of obsessions:

  • Contamination (e.g., concern with dirt, germs, or illness)
  • Aggression (e.g., fear of harm coming to oneself or a loved one)
  • Forbidden thoughts (e.g., intrusive sexual or religious thoughts)

The following are common types of compulsions:

  • Excessive cleaning/washing (e.g., ritualized hand washing or cleaning of personal items)
  • Checking (e.g., making sure the door is locked)
  • Repeating (e.g., rereading, erasing and rewriting)
  • Counting (e.g., the need to count objects or while doing routine activities)

What is Sertraline?

Sertraline is an FDA-approved medication used to treat pediatric OCD.

Study team

Principal Investigator (PI):
Study Coordinator: