The relationship of pineal calcification to subtypes of tardive dyskinesia in bipolar patients.
Int J Neurosci. 1990 Oct;54(3-4):307-13. PMID: 2265981
Department of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY 10461.
Recent studies have suggested that bipolar patients may be at high risk for developing tardive dyskinesia (TD) if exposed to chronic neuroleptic therapy. It has been suggested that reduced melatonin secretion may favor the development of TD in bipolar and schizoaffective patients. Since pinealectomized rats have been reported to develop increased incidence and severity of abnormal chewing movements, and as depression is associated with reduced melatonin secretion, the increased risk of TD in bipolar patients may be associated with diminished melatonin secretion. Evidence suggestive of an inverse correlation between pineal calcification and reduced melatonin secretion, led me to study the relationship between pineal calcification on CT scan and the severity of axial (truncal) and limb and orofacial dyskinesias in bipolar patients with TD. The incidence of pathologically enlarged pineal calcifications (i.e., greater than 1 cm in diameter) in the bipolar patients was 25 times greater than the reported incidence in the literature among nonpsychiatric patients. In addition, there was a significant difference in scores of axial dyskinesias between patients with pineal calcification of less than 1 cm in diameter compared to those with pineal calcification of greater than 1 cm in diameter (F = 3.24; p = .04, one-way ANOVA). There was no significant association between scores of limb and orofacial dyskinesias and pineal calcification. These findings suggest a meaningful association between the presence of enlarged pineal calcification, and axial dyskinesias in bipolar patients. Further studies using direct plasma melatonin measurements are required to more precisely define the association between TD and melatonin secretion in bipolar patients.