CSF somatostatin in obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Severity of Illness Index
Because the central administration of somatostatin to experimental animals produces behaviors with some similarities to the compulsions of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder and because serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been reported to reduce brain content of somatostatin, the authors examined central somatostatin activity in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
CSF for measurement of somatostatin was obtained from 15 drug-free outpatients with obsessive-compulsive disorder and 27 normal volunteers.
The mean CSF somatostatin level was significantly higher in the patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder than in the normal subjects.
Although the functional significance of this finding is unknown, these data are consistent with a role for somatostatin in the clinical symptomatology of obsessive-compulsive disorder and its response to neuropharmacological agents. The high levels of CSF somatostatin reported here in a patient subgroup whose predominant symptoms consisted of overly focused, perseverative thought processes are in contrast to the consistently low levels of CSF somatostatin seen in patients with a spectrum of disorders characterized by substantial cognitive deficits.