Endorphin immunoreactivity and acute behavioral distress in children with leukemia

Ernest R. Katz, Burt Sharp, Jonathan Kellerman, Albert R. Marston, Jerome M. Hershman, Stuart E. Siegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Endogenous opiates have been implicated in pain and stress experiences. In order to directly assess the relationship between endorphin activity and acute behavioral distress, β-endorphin immunoreactivity (β-EPI) was measured by radioimmunoassay in cerebrospinal fluid of 75 children with acute leukemia undergoing routine lumbar puncture. These data were related to four measures of behavioral distress collected during the procedure. For children 4 years of age and above, β -EPI correlated inversely with age (r =-.31, p <.05). All behavioral measures also inversely correlated with age (r =-.26 to-.67, p <.05 to.001). Females had a significantly lower mean β-EPI than males (p <.01), and exhibited greater behavioral distress. β-EPI and behavioral measures interacted with the use of specific antileukemia agents, L-Asparaginase was associated with lower β-EPI (p <.05), while prednisone was associated with lower behavioral distress on three of the four measures (p <.05 to.01). After controlling for age, sex, and chemotherapy, β-EPI and nurse ratings of anxiety were positively correlated (partial correlation coefficient =.31, p <.05). Correlations between β-EPI and other behavioral measures demonstrated positive trends. Results of this study are interpreted as support for the reactive nature of β-EPI in cerebrospinal fluid to acute distress, and may help explain documented sex differences in distress behavior. Potential clinical implications and directions for further research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-77
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Volume170
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1982

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Endorphins
Cerebrospinal Fluid
Leukemia
Asparaginase
Spinal Puncture
Opioid Peptides
Prednisone
Sex Characteristics
Radioimmunoassay
Anxiety
Nurses
Drug Therapy
Pain
Research
Direction compound

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Endorphin immunoreactivity and acute behavioral distress in children with leukemia. / Katz, Ernest R.; Sharp, Burt; Kellerman, Jonathan; Marston, Albert R.; Hershman, Jerome M.; Siegel, Stuart E.

In: Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Vol. 170, No. 2, 01.01.1982, p. 72-77.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Katz, Ernest R. ; Sharp, Burt ; Kellerman, Jonathan ; Marston, Albert R. ; Hershman, Jerome M. ; Siegel, Stuart E. / Endorphin immunoreactivity and acute behavioral distress in children with leukemia. In: Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. 1982 ; Vol. 170, No. 2. pp. 72-77.
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