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May 1990

Cerebrospinal Fluid Monoamine Metabolites, Aggression, and Impulsivity in Disruptive Behavior Disorders of Children and Adolescents

Author Affiliations

From the Child Psychiatry Branch (Drs Kruesi, Rapoport, and Hibbs and Mss Hamburger and Lenane), the Section of Clinical Pharmacology, Laboratory of Clinical Science (Dr Potter), and the Laboratory of Developmental Psychology (Dr Brown), National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md. Dr Brown is now with the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Division of Intramural and Clinical Biological Research, Bethesda, Md.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1990;47(5):419-426. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1990.01810170019003

• Cerebrospinal fluid levels of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, a metabolite of serotonin, were measured in relation to aggression, impulsivity, and social functioning in 29 children and adolescents with disruptive behavior disorders. The cerebrospinal fluid 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid level was low compared with that of age-, sex-, and race-matched patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Within the disruptive group, significant negative correlations with age-corrected 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid level were seen for the child's report of aggression toward people and the expressed emotionality of the child toward his or her mother; other correlations of age-corrected 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid level with measures of aggression were in the expected negative direction but did not reach statistical significance. Impulsivity per se and socioenvironmental factors were not significantly related to cerebrospinal fluid 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid concentration.