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Obsessive-compulsive symptom dimensions in affected sibling pairs diagnosed with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome


  • A complete list of the consortium members involved in the collection of the data reported is presented in the Acknowledgments section.


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an etiologically heterogeneous disorder. Recent factor analyses have consistently identified several symptom dimensions, two of which are associated with increased familial risk for OCD; aggressive, sexual, and religious obsessions and checking compulsions (FACTOR 1) and symmetry and ordering obsessions and compulsions (FACTOR 2). Both of these symptom dimensions are also frequently seen in association with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS). The purpose of this study was to determine whether these obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptom dimensions are correlated within families (between sibs and between parent-child pairs). Using data collected by the Tourette Syndrome Association International Consortium for Genetics Affected Sibling Pair Study, the authors selected all available GTS sib pairs and their parents for which these OC symptom dimensions (factor scores) could be generated. This group included 128 full sibs and their mothers (54) and fathers (54). Four OC symptom dimension scores were computed for each family member using an algorithm derived from item endorsements from the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) symptom checklist. In addition to a series of univariate analyses, complex segregation analyses were also completed using these quantitative OC symptom dimension scores. FACTOR 1 and FACTOR 2 scores were significantly correlated in sib pairs concordant for GTS. The mother–child correlations, but not father–child correlations, were also significant for these two factors. Segregation analyses were consistent with dominant major gene effects for both FACTOR 1 and FACTOR 2. We conclude that familial factors contribute significantly to OC symptom dimension phenotypes in GTS families. This familial contribution could be genetic or environmental. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.