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Every day, Hilary Zurbuch grappled with a nagging fear that if she didn’t look just right, something bad would happen. Zurbuch lives with obsessive compulsive disorder, a tug-of-war between intrusive, often fearful thoughts and repetitive rituals she’s devised to control them. Although the reasons for OCD are unknown, psychiatrist and researcher Susanne Ahmari at the University of Pittsburgh is using clinical observations and new neuroscience tools to extricate a deeper understanding of the disorder. This Pitt Medcast was inspired by Cara Masset’s award-winning cover story from the Fall 2015 issue of Pitt Med magazine ( Written by Cara Masset. Read by Elaina Zachos and produced by Elaina Zachos, with Elaine Vitone. Our executive producer is Erica Lloyd. Sound effects courtesy of and CosmicEmbers. Special thanks to Brenna Evans, the Medfield High School Orchestra, and Cara Masset herself for acting as our musical neurons. Blød Maud ( provided this episode’s theme music. We're gathering data on our podcast! To help us out, please complete a quick survey at…bqSzl&ver=short

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