Seed grant for OCD-related DBS research


Ingo Willuhn, group leader at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience and Associate Professor at the Department of Psychiatry of the Amsterdam University Medical Center.

The Foundation for OCD Research (FFOR) has awarded a Seed Grant to the research group of Brainscapes-member Ingo Willuhn. He will receive $800,000 over four years for exploring neural mechanisms of deep-brain stimulation (DBS) in a mouse model for OCD. DBS is an effective therapy for otherwise treatment-resistant OCD patients. However, optimizing DBS parameters requires months and its neural mechanism of action is largely unknown. “To improve DBS therapy, we will use SAPAP3 mutant mice, a model system that captures key elements of OCD. We aim to characterize the effects of DBS on compulsive behavior and neural activity in OCD-relevant brain circuits in these mice” explains Ingo Willuhn. FFOR’s strategy is designed with the intention to deliver a “functional” cure for OCD. To do that, FFOR is pursuing multiple projects across multiple disciplines simultaneously: Genetics, Neuroscience, and Therapeutics.