The relationship of pineal calcification and melatonin secretion to the pathophysiology of tardive dyskinesia and Tourette's syndrome.
Int J Neurosci. 1991 Jun;58(3-4):215-47. PMID: 1365044
Department of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY 10461.
Despite current intensive research, the pathophysiology of tardive dyskinesia (TD), a serious neurological side effect of neuroleptic treatment, is poorly understood. Prompted by the observation of an increased incidence and severity of abnormal perioral movements in neuroleptic-treated pinealectomized, as compared to intact rats, we suggested that the pineal gland exerts a protective effect which mitigates against the development of TD and, by inference, that reduced melatonin secretion may be related to the pathophysiology of TD. To investigate this proposition further, we studied the association of TD with pineal calcification (PC) on CT scan in chronic schizophrenic patients. Our findings revealed a significant association between TD and PC and suggest, furthermore, that PC may be a neuroradiological marker of TD. Since PC may reflect diminished secretory activity of the gland, these findings support the hypothesis that the pathophysiology of TD is linked to disturbances of melatonin secretion. The clinical and therapeutic implications of these novel findings are discussed. In the following communication, in which we introduce the hypothesis that disturbances of 5-HT and melatonin secretion are related to the pathophysiology of TD. Subsequently, we present a series of studies which relate to the association of TD with PC. We conclude by presenting the hypothesis that disturbances in melatonin secretion may also be relevant to the pathophysiology of Tourette's syndrome.