Effect of acute metabolic stress on pituitary-adrenal axis activation in patients with schizophrenia

Igor Elman, Caleb M. Adler, Anil K. Malhotra, Christopher Bir, David Pickar, Alan Breier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations


Objective: Although several lines of evidence suggest that stress plays a role in the course of schizophrenia, studies that have assessed stress- relevant neurobiological measures have not produced consistent results. The authors examined the effects of acute metabolic stress induced by 2-deoxy-D- glucose (2-DG) on pituitary-adrenal axis activation. Method: Thirteen patients with schizophrenia and 11 healthy comparison subjects were administered pharmacological doses of 2-DG (40 mg/kg). The subjects' arterial plasma was then assayed for levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol. Results: 2-DG induced significant increases in the measured hormones in both groups, and ACTH elevations were significantly greater in patients with schizophrenia than in comparison subjects. Conclusions: Patients with schizophrenia have an exaggerated ACTH response to acute metabolic stress exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-981
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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