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Department of Psychiatry
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Current Research Projects

  1. The Burden of OCD: How does Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) impact you and your caregivers’ lives?

    The Thompson Centre is conducting a study to learn more about the impact of OCD on people living with it and their caregivers. We aim to understand the effects of OCD on your life as a whole, including daily living functioning, burden of illness, and costs associated with the illness.

    We are looking for people on our waitlist with a primary diagnosis of OCD. Although having caregivers who are willing to participate is not required, it is highly encouraged. This study involves four onsite visits over a 24-36 month period. The Thompson Centre will provide a compensation of $15.00 per onsite visit.

    If you would like to participate or for more information, contact Shazmeera Qadri at

  2. Neurodevelopmental Risk for Anxiety and Mood Disorders in Pregnancy and the Post-Partum Period

    The perinatal period is recognized as a time of vulnerability for the development and exacerbation of mood and anxiety disorders. Of the anxiety disorders, OCD and GAD have particularly high incidence rates. The aim of this study is to learn more about neurodevelopmental risk factors to the onset of these perinatal disorders. We will examine the contribution of psychosocial stressors, biological/genetic factors, personality, and cognitive factors and the interaction between them in conferring risk for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

    Please note: recruits are no longer being accepted for this study.

  3. Focused Ultrasound for OCD

    A large proportion of patients with OCD remain significantly symptomatic despite optimized medical and psychotherapeutics treatments. Neurosurgical strategies, using invasive thermal ablation, have been developed and employed for over half a century, to manage patients with refractory OCD.

    MR-guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) offers the possibility of lesioning deep brain targets, without the need for open surgical approaches. There is no radiation, incision, or burr hole, and lesions are generated in real-time under MR image guidance.

    The proposed study is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of MRgFUS for patients with treatment-refractory OCD. Assessments will be made before and after MRgFUS for adverse events related to treatment, for clinical symptom relief, and quality of life. The target in the brain chosen for ablation will be the anterior limb of the internal capsule (ALIC) (i.e ‘capsulotomy’).

    If you would like to participate or for more information, please contact Sachie Sharma at

  4. Narrative therapy for OCD

    We are currently recruiting participants for a research study using “narrative therapy” for treatment-resistant OCD.

    This study uses therapeutic writing, in group format. The group is for 20 weeks, two hours each week at Sunnybrook.

    If your main diagnosis is OCD and you have ongoing symptoms after having tried several treatments, you may be eligible.

    If you would like to participate or for more information, please contact Arachel Abella at