Serum Levels of Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Case-Control Study

Gianluca Rosso, Roberta Zanardini, Daniela Francesca Chiodelli, Clarissa Ferrari, Massimo Gennarelli, Luisella Bocchio-Chiavetto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Aims: Recent findings suggest an involvement of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in the pathogenesis of many psychiatric disorders; however, there is a lack of data regarding IGF-1 in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The aims of the present study were (1) to analyze putative alterations of IGF-1 serum content in patients with OCD compared to patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and healthy controls, and (2) to analyze putative changes of IGF-1 levels during drug treatment in subjects with OCD compared to patients with MDD. Methods: We recruited 40 OCD patients, 37 MDD patients, and 43 healthy controls. All participants were adults. Serum IGF-1 levels were measured by the ELISA method on venous blood samples collected at baseline and after 10 ± 1 weeks of drug treatment. Results: IGF-1 levels were increased in OCD patients compared to controls (149.9 ± 60.2 vs. 121.2 ± 51.6 ng/ml; p = 0.040). No correlations were observed between baseline IGF-1 levels, clinical features, and response to treatment at follow-up in OCD or MDD patients. No changes in serum IGF-1 were observed after drug treatment. Conclusion: Our results show for the first time that serum IGF-1 levels are altered in patients with OCD. Further research on the role of IGF-1 in OCD is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Antidepressants
  • Depression
  • Growth hormone
  • Insulin-like growth factor-1
  • Neurobiology
  • Neurotrophic factors
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Serotonin reuptake inhibitors
  • Somatotropic axis
  • Treatment response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Biological Psychiatry


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