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History of the Clinic

The Yale OCD Research Clinic has a 25-year history of groundbreaking advances in the understanding and treatment of OCD. Founded in the mid-1980s by Drs. Wayne Goodman and Dennis Charney, the Clinic fostered the development of the field’s standard instrument for rating symptom severity – the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS), as well as the first clinical trials demonstrating the efficacy of the medications that are now standard treatments for the disorder – the SSRIs and neuroleptics. The International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation, a leading education and advocacy organization for patients with OCD, was founded by participants in these early research trials.

Our current focus on glutamate modulators as potential treatments for OCD was begun in the early 2000s by Vladimir Coric, who treated the first patients with the glutamate-modulating drug riluzole. The current Director, Christopher Pittenger, took over the clinic in 2007 and continues this line of work, bringing to bear the neurobiological expertise he gained during his Ph.D. studies with Eric Kandel at Columbia University. With Benjamin Kelmendi, we have also begun studying the potential therapeutic use of psilocybin for OCD.