Use of post-mortem brain tissue in investigations of obsessive- compulsive disorder: A systematic review

Christine Lochner, Petrus J.W. Naude, Dan J. Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Post-mortem examination of the brain is a key strategy to increase our understanding of the neurobiology of mental disorders. While extensive post-mortem research has been undertaken on some mental disorders, others appear to have been relatively neglected. Objective: The objective of the study was to conduct a systematic review of post-mortem research on obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Methods: A systematic review was performed in accordance with PRISMA guidelines to provide an overview of quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods primary research studies on OCD. Search platforms included NCBI Pubmed, SCOPUS, and Web of Science. Results: A total of 52 publications were found, and after the removal of works not meeting the inclusion criteria, six (6) peer-reviewed publications remained. These post-mortem studies have provided data on DNA methylation, cellular and molecular alterations, and gene expression profiling in brain areas associated with OCD. Discussion and Conclusion: Included studies highlight the potential value of post-mortem brains from well-characterized individuals with OCD and suggest the need for additional work in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)963-975
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Neuropharmacology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Frontostriatal circuitry
  • Neurochemistry
  • Neurocircuitry
  • Neuroimaging
  • Obsessive-compulsive
  • Post-mortem
  • Systematic review


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