Relation of CSF neurotensin concentrations to symptoms and drug response of psychotic patients

David L. Garver, Garth Bissette, Jeffrey K. Yao, Charles B. Nemeroff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Objective: The authors investigated the putative endogenous antipsychotic neurotensin in relation to both psychotic symptoms and patterns of response during treatment with an antipsychotic drug. Method: Twenty recently admitted patients with mood-incongruent psychoses underwent 1) interviews with the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for diagnostic evaluation and symptom profiles, 2) drug-free baseline measurements of CSF neurotensin and homovanillic acid, and 3) close monitoring of a therapeutic trial of haloperidol to determine latency of antipsychotic response. Results: A relative deficiency in CSF neurotensin was found in a subgroup of psychotic women whose clinical response to haloperidol was delayed for 11 to 35 days after initiation of the neuroleptic. These patients had greater thought disorder, delusions-hallucinations, behavioral disorganization, and impaired functioning than did psychotic patients with higher CSF concentrations of neurotensin. Neurotensin concentrations increased during treatment with haloperidol. Conclusions: The study provides further evidence that there is diminished availability of neurotensin in some psychotic patients, with increases in neurotensin early in neuroleptic treatment. Exploration of neurotensin receptor agonists as a potentially novel class of antipsychotic compounds is suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)484-488
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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