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Who Is At Risk For OCD & Is There A Blood Test For It?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is a mental condition that leads to the flow of irrational thoughts and fears or obsessions in mind provoking repetitive behaviors or compulsions. Its exact cause is yet to be discovered. But it is assumed that chemical imbalance in the body or structural abnormality of the brain and other reasons can trigger this disorder. It can appear in males and females in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood. It is noted in clinical studies that it affects women more than men. Its symptoms involve repetitive actions such as washing hands, cleaning, locking the door, etc. It cannot be detected by any physical test like a blood test, x-ray, etc.

Who Is At Risk For OCD?

The causes of OCD are not clear, but its risk factors include:

Genetics- According to clinical studies, people with first-degree relatives (such as a parent, sibling, or child) who are patients of OCD are more at risk for contracting OCD. The risk becomes higher if the first-degree relative had developed OCD in his childhood or teenage.(2)

Brain Structure And Functioning- Imaging studies depict that the frontal cortex and subcortical structures of the brain develop differences in patients with OCD. It appears that there is a connection between the OCD symptoms and abnormalities in certain areas of the brain. Although, there is no research study that can reveal the clear relationship, however, understanding the causes can determine specific and personalized treatments for OCD.

Environmental Factors – some research studies state that there is an association between childhood trauma and obsessive-compulsive symptom. However, extensive research is required to establish this relationship. Some clinical studies show that children may develop OCD or OCD symptoms after a streptococcal infection. This condition is termed as Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS).(2)

Is There A Blood Test To Diagnose OCD?

Although obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is considered as a disorder that has biological reasons, it cannot be detected by using a blood test or X-ray or any other medical tests. It can be diagnosed by a mental health professional like a psychiatrist, psychologist, or family doctor or nurse who has specialized training as they can assess OCD by evaluation of the symptoms of each case using their medical judgment and experience.

For this purpose, a structured clinical interview is framed for the use of mental health professionals to find out if all available psychological symptoms are consistent with OCD. Structured clinical interviews comprise a set of standardized questions so that each patient is interviewed in the same manner. These questions asked are usually focused on the nature, severity, and duration of symptoms. The patient’s moods and other behaviors are also assessed to evaluate the presence of other psychological problems that should be corrected along with OCD.(3)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder characterized by the experience of repeated and obsessions or compulsions that cannot be avoided. It always interferes with the daily life of the affected person. It is represented by recurrent, excessive or unwarranted thoughts or worries that disturb the person’s healthy thinking. Its causes are not clear.(1)

OCD can appear in adults, adolescents, and children all over the world. Most people are often diagnosed with this disorder at the age of 19. Its early onset is typically seen in the earlier age in boys more than in girls, but its onset after age 35 is also noticed.(2)


Obsessive-Compulsive disorder is a common disorder of the mind that leads a person to do or think or behave repeatedly obsessively and compulsively. It can be inherited from close relatives due to abnormal genes or structural defects in the brain or environmental factors discussed above. The blood test cannot be used to diagnose this disorder.


Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 20, 2020

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