OCD is a persistent mental illness that affects 1-2% of the population and is often severe and highly distressing. The illness frequently leads to social isolation, interpersonal difficulties, functional impairment, and financial problems. OCD symptoms include obsessions (persistent intrusive thoughts) and compulsions (repetitive behaviours often driven by the content of obsessions).
Typically, OCD starts in early adulthood and persists throughout life, causing extreme illness burden. While medication and psychological therapy can improve symptoms, these interventions are ineffective for many individuals. There is an urgent need to advance knowledge on the neural causes of OCD to develop new diagnostic and prognostic tools, as well as effective targeted interventions.