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Local Cerebral Glucose Metabolic Rates in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:  Patients Treated With Clomipramine

Chawki Benkelfat, MD; Thomas E. Nordahl, MD, PhD; William E. Semple, PhD; A. Catherine King; Dennis L. Murphy, MD; Robert M. Cohen, MD, PhD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1990;47(9):840-848. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1990.01810210048007.
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• 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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