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Article
September 1990

Local Cerebral Glucose Metabolic Rates in Obsessive-Compulsive DisorderPatients Treated With Clomipramine

Author Affiliations

From the Section on Clinical Neuropharmacology, Laboratory of Clinical Science (Drs Benkelfat and Murphy), and the Section on Clinical Brain Imaging, Laboratory of Cerebral Metabolism (Drs Nordahl, Semple, and Cohen and Ms King), National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md. Dr Benkelfat is now with the Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec. Dr Nordahl is now with the Department of Psychiatry, University of California, Davis.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1990;47(9):840-848. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1990.01810210048007
Abstract

• In a recent study, we reported abnormal local cerebral glucose metabolic rates in the orbital frontal cortex of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Eight patients with obsessivecompulsive disorder scanned previously were scanned again during treatment with the tricyclic antidepressant clomipramine hydrochloride. Comparisons of local cerebral glucose metabolic rates for both groups showed a relative decrease in regions of the orbital frontal cortex and the left caudate, and an increase in other areas of the basal ganglia, including the right anterior putamen. When comparing patients who responded well to clomipramine with those who were either poor or partial responders, we found significant decreases only in the left caudate of patients who responded well to the drug. The present study suggests that clomipramine-induced improvement in obsessive-compulsive symptoms is associated with a return of regional brain metabolism to a more normal level in regions of the orbital frontal cortex and the caudate nucleus.

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