Research on hoarding in families

Clinical compulsive hoarding tends to run in families. Several studies have shown that approximately 50% of hoarders report a first degree relative, e.g. a parent, sibling or offspring who hoards.  Some of the latest research into compulsive hoarding has been into genetic factors.  

A 2008 publication has shown that NTRK3 gene may contribute to the genetic susceptibility to hoarding in OCD and has identified this as an area for further research.  A separate 2007 study has shown that there that a region on chromosome 14 is linked with compulsive hoarding behaviour in families with OCD.  Even though these are studies are on very small samples, these could be dramatic breakthroughs.  It is likely that further research will be carried out in on a much larger sample.

How much of the risk is of becoming a clinical compulsive hoarder is genetic and how much is learned behaviour and upbringing is yet uncertain. 

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