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Neuropsychopharmacology. 1989 Mar;2(1):23-8.

Cerebral glucose metabolic rates in obsessive compulsive disorder.

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  • 1Section on Clinical Neuropharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


Brain metabolism was measured with positron emission tomography and [18F] 2-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose in normal subjects and in patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) while they performed a continuous auditory discrimination task designed to evaluate the functional localization of sustained attention. Data on 8 nondepressed patients with OCD were compared with 30 normal volunteers. We observed significantly higher normalized regional metabolism both in the right orbital frontal cortex (p = 0.002, two-tailed t test) and in the left anterior orbital frontal cortex (p = 0.017, one-tailed t test) and in patients with OCD as compared to normal controls. We observed no normalized glucose metabolic differences in basal ganglia structures in patients with OCD as compared to our normal controls. There were no statistical differences in global glucose metabolic values between the OCD and the control group. Our findings are consistent with the findings of Baxter et al. (Arch Gen Psychiatry 44:211-218, 1987). Regions in the parietal cortex also appear to show differences in this preliminary study.

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