Why Research?

OCD SoCal appreciates the critical role of research in better understanding and treating OCD and related disorders. Prior to the 1960s, OCD was considered an intractable condition with no effective treatment. Victor Meyer first published a research paper in 1966 demonstrating the usefulness of exposure and response prevention (ERP) for two patients with OCD. The dissemination of this work allowed researchers to further test the effectiveness of this treatment and to get the information into the hands of clinicians who treat these disorders, providing hope for individuals with OCD and their families. While we have come a long way since the 1960s in improving our understanding of OCD and its treatment, there is much we have yet to learn. Below are just some of the questions that OCD researchers are trying to better understand:

  • How do OCD and related disorders impact functioning in work, school, family, and home settings? How can we mitigate these problems?
  • How and why does ERP help individuals with OCD? How can we improve ERP to make it more effective?
  • What is the usefulness of different medications for OCD? How do these medications affect both brain and behavior?
  • How can we use technology to improve access to ERP and develop new treatments?
  • What are the needs and experiences of family members of someone with OCD? How can we best involve family members in treatment so as to improve treatment outcome?
  • What role does genetics play in understanding who develops OCD?
  • What can brain activity teach us about who responds to which treatments, and why?

Please see our dropdown menu for more information about how to participate in OCD research!