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Article
November 1961

Urinary PorphobilinogenResults of Screening 2,500 Psychiatric Patients

Author Affiliations

COLUMBUS, OHIO
From the Department of Psychiatry, Ohio State, University College of Medicine, and the Columbus Psychiatric Institute and Hospital.
Instructor in Psychiatry, Ohio State University College of Medicine, and Staff Psychiatrist, Columbus Psychiatric Institute and Hospital (Dr. Kaelbling); Formerly, Professor of Psychiatry, Ohio State University College of Medicine, and Clinical Director, Columbus Psychiatric Institute and Hospital (Dr. Craig); Professor of Psychiatry, Ohio State University College of Medicine and Director of Research, Columbus Psychiatric Institute and Hospital (Dr. Pasamanick).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;5(5):494-508. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710170072009
Abstract

A screening procedure for porphobilinogenuria was instituted because there are 4 reasons to expect a higher rate of hepatic porphyria among psychiatric patients than is generally found in other patients. First, acute intermittent porphyria is so closely associated with psychiatric disorder that Roth1 claimed "porphyria occurs with special frequency, if not exclusively, amongst people with severe neurotic personality disorders. It is probable that the psychoneurosis plays an important part in the pathogenesis of the disease and in determining the time of onset of the acute attack." Case reports2 show the connection between "mental stress" and precipitation of an attack of acute intermittent porphyria. If such a correlation between psychiatric disorders and acute intermittent porphyria really exists, then one can expect that an even larger proportion of the cases of acute intermittent porphyria will be found in the population of a psychiatric

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