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Investigating the Role of Glutamate in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Current Perspectives

Authors Karthik S, Sharma LP, Narayanaswamy JC

Received 6 February 2020

Accepted for publication 1 April 2020

Published 17 April 2020 Volume 2020:16 Pages 1003—1013

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S211703

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder


Sheshachala Karthik,* Lavanya P Sharma,* Janardhanan C Narayanaswamy

OCD Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore 560029, India

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Janardhanan C Narayanaswamy
OCD Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore 560029, India
Tel +91 8026995250
Email jcn.nimhans@gmail.com

Abstract: Glutamate is a ubiquitous excitatory neurotransmitter, which is involved in normal physiology, a variety of central nervous system (CNS) functions, including excitotoxicity and neuronal migration. It is implicated in the pathogenesis of various neuropsychiatric disorders including epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s dementia, schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Over the years, a growing body of evidence has helped researchers understand the mechanisms underlying glutamatergic involvement in the pathogenesis of these disorders. In this review, we attempt to elucidate the role of glutamate in OCD, which is a chronic psychiatric condition with significant morbidity. This article provides current perspectives on the role played by glutamate in the pathogenesis, clinical symptoms and treatment response in OCD, a critical analysis of existing and emerging evidence, both clinical and preclinical, followed by a summary and future directions.

Keywords: glutamate, NMDA receptor, OCD, striatum, memantine, lamotrigine

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