Neurosteroid Levels in Patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Changes in serum neurosteroid levels have been reported in stress-related disorders such as anxiety and depression, but not in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). We thus investigated such changes in patients with OCD.
We compared the serum levels of progesterone, pregnanolone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S), cortisol and testosterone in 30 patients with OCD and 30 healthy controls.
When male and female patients were evaluated together, DHEA and cortisol levels were significantly higher in patients with OCD than the control group. When the genders were evaluated separately, DHEA and cortisol levels were higher in female patients than the female controls. The increase in DHEA levels in female patients is likely an effect of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In contrast, cortisol levels in male patients were higher than the control group, while testosterone levels were lower. The increased cortisol and decreased testosterone levels in male patients likely involves the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis.
These findings suggest that neurosteroid levels in patients with OCD should be investigated together with the HPA and HPG axes in future studies.
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2Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Inonu University, Malatya, Turkey.
Corresponding author. Correspondence: Lale Gonenir Erbay, MD. Department of Psychiatry, Malatya State Hospital, 44100 Malatya, Turkey. Tel: +90 422 212 10 10, Fax: +90 422 341 07 87, Email: [email protected]
by DRG International | Sep 30, 2015