February 1981

Neuropsychiatric Manifestations of Patients With Cushing's SyndromeRelationship to Cortisol and Adrenocorticotropic Hormone Levels

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Psychiatry (Dr Starkman) and Internal Medicine (Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and the Metabolism Research Unit) (Dr Schteingart), University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor.

Arch Intern Med. 1981;141(2):215-219. doi:10.1001/archinte.1981.00340020077021

• Thirty-five consecutive patients with Cushing's syndrome were studied prospectively before treatment. A consistent constellation of neuropsychiatric disturbances was found, including impairments in affect (depressed mood and crying), cognitive functions (decreased concentration and memory), and vegetative functions (decreased libido and insomnia). Thirty-four percent of patients were rated as having a mild, 26% a moderate, 29% a severe, and 11% a very severe psychiatric disability. A statistically significant relationship was found between the overall neuropsychiatric disability rating and cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels. Patients with adrenal adenomas with high cortisol but low ACTH levels did not have as severe a neuropsychiatric disability.

(Arch Intern Med 141:215-219, 1981)