It has been suggested that dopamine as well as serotonin are associated with the pathophysiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). 5-Hydroxytryptophan inhibits dopamine release in healthy persons as well as in patients with OCD, and serotonin tonic inhibition affects dopamine function in basal ganglia, indicating a close relationship between serotonin and the dopamine system. Using iodine-123-labeled N-(3-iodopropen-2-yl)-2β- carbomethoxy-3β-(4-chlorophenyl) tropane ([123I]IPT) single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), we investigated the dopamine transporter (DAT) density in the basal ganglia of patients with OCD. The test consists of two measurements before and after treatment with serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs). Ten patients with OCD before and after treatment with SRIs were included. We performed brain SPECT 2 h after intravenous administration of [123I]IPT using a dual-head SPECT camera (Vertex, ADAC, Calif., USA) and analyzed the SPECT data, reconstructed for the assessment of the specific/nonspecific DAT binding ratio in the basal ganglia. We then examined the correlation between the scores of OCD symptom changes, assessed with the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS), and DAT binding ratio. Patients with OCD after treatment with SRIs showed a significantly decreased DAT binding ratio in the right basal ganglia compared with baseline. A significant correlation was found between the total scores and compulsion score changes of the Y-BOCS and the changes of the DAT binding ratio of the right basal ganglia. These findings suggest that the dopaminergic neurotransmitter system of the basal ganglia could play an important role in the symptom improvement of OCD patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry