The links between an individual's personal "biological clock", levels of alertness, and OCD symptoms

25 August, 2021
The links between an individual's personal "biological clock", levels of alertness, and OCD symptoms

Congratulations to the PhD candidate Hadar Naftalovich and Prof. Eyal Kalanthroff, who were awarded the International Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation's Michael Jenike Young Investigator Award along with collaborators Dr. Alex Gileles-Hillel, from Hadassah Medical School, Dr. Helen Blair Simpson, from Columbia University, and Drs. Hagai Bergman, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The grant was awarded to examine the links between an individual's personal "biological clock" (called “chronotypes”), levels of alertness, and OCD symptoms. She and her team will closely track OCD symptoms in a group of study participants for a period of seven days, and ask them throughout the day how alert they feel. They’ll also closely monitor each participant’s sleep patterns, including when they go to bed, get up, and how long they sleep.

Their goal is to gain a better understanding of how and why OCD symptoms fluctuate throughout the day, and to give people with OCD additional tools and information they can use to understand when their symptoms may be the easiest or most difficult to control. Their findings could provide clues about how treatments that influence alertness and circadian rhythm (like light therapy) could be combined with existing forms of OCD treatment to better serve patients.