head_ocd Columbia University Medical Center Center for OCD and Related Disorders

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Welcome to the Center for OCD and Related Disorders



 Dear Friends,

     As we begin the New Year, we want to thank you for your support of the Center for OCD and Related Disorders, and to share some highlights from 2014. Our mission is to transform our understanding of and treatments for OCD and related disorders. For the patients of today, we study how best to deliver current treatments, and we test novel treatments as well. For the patients of tomorrow, we partner with brain imagers and basic scientists to study what causes obsessions and compulsions, and we use this knowledge to identify new treatment targets. Our work is funded primarily by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), private foundations, and donations from individuals. At any one time, we run many different types of studies, all aimed at advancing what we know about OCD.

    Here are some highlights of what we accomplished in 2014. We published several papers in influential psychiatric journals. Some exciting findings include: our learning that patients on serotonin reuptake
inhibitors maintain their treatment gains from exposure and response prevention six months after treatment (Foa, Simpson, et al., Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, in press), and that there are specific problems with reward processing in patients with OCD (Marsh et al., American Journal of Psychiatry, in press). We also received several awards for our work. For example, Dr. Carolyn Rodriguez received the NEATOR award for showing that the drug ketamine can lead to a rapid reduction in obsessions (Rodriguez et al., Neuropsychopharmacology 2013; 38(12): 2475-2483). Additionally, we were awarded a new grant from NIMH, which will enable us to examine how the brain responds to treatment for OCD. Finally, we have welcomed several new members to our clinic, including three new research assistants (Marissa Schwartz, Olivia Pascucci, and Jordana Zwerling) and two new postdoctoral fellows (Dr. Eyal Kalanthroff and Dr. Shari Steinman).

    Thank you to all who participated in our research, supported our cause through donations, and referred patients to us. On behalf of everyone at the clinic, we wish you a very happy and healthy new year.

Best wishes,

H. Blair Simpson, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University
Director of the Anxiety Disorders Clinic and the Center for OCD and Related Disorders


The mission of our center is to improve the lives of individuals with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and related problems, by advancing our understanding of and the treatment for these disorders.

    Do you have OCD? Are you experiencing uncomfortable or even disabling symptoms? If so, you may be eligible for one of our new treatment studies for individuals with OCD. We are currently recruiting participants for a wide range of research studies!

    We have studies that include free treatment available for people who are currently on medications, and for people who are not on psychiatric medication.

  For more information about these studies and the treatment of OCD at our center, click here!

    If you are currently on medications for OCD and are interested in treatment or more   information please contact: Marissa Schwartz (646) 774-8062

    If you are not on medications and are interested in treatment or more information please contact: Jordana Zwerling (646) 774-8118 or Olivia Pascucci (646) 774-8064

Click here if you would like to support our research efforts through donations!

We are NOW RECRUITING for our open Volunteer and Internship/Externship Positions!  Click here for more information!