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Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1989 Jun;46(6):518-23.

Cerebral glucose metabolism in childhood-onset obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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  • 1Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


The cerebral metabolic rate for glucose was studied in 18 adults with childhood-onset obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and in age- and sex-matched controls using positron emission tomography and fludeoxyglucose F 18. Both groups were scanned during rest, with reduced auditory and visual stimulation. The group with OCD showed an increased glucose metabolism in the left orbital frontal, right sensorimotor, and bilateral prefrontal and anterior cingulate regions as compared with controls. Ratios of regional activity to mean cortical gray matter metabolism were increased for the right prefrontal and left anterior cingulate regions in the group with OCD as a whole. Correlations between glucose metabolism and clinical assessment measures showed a significant relationship between metabolic activity and both state and trait measurements of OCD and anxiety as well as the response to clomipramine hydrochloride therapy. These results are consistent with the suggestion that OCD may result from a functional disturbance in the frontal-limbic-basal ganglia system.

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