Youth OCD 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: