The numerous reports of physiologic derangements associated with schizophrenia include claims of a decreased ability of the patient to synthesize hippuric acid from ingested sodium benzoate. The low rate of synthesis was first pointed out by Quastel and Wales,1 who emphasized its frequent occurrence in catatonic patients. Its validity, subsequently denied by Ström-Olsen, Greville and Lennon,2 the observation was again confirmed by Finkelman, Hora, Sherman and Horwitt.3
The synthesis of hippuric acid (C6H5.CONH. CH2.COOH) from benzoic acid (C6H5.COOH) and aminoacetic acid (NH2.CH2.COOH) is said to be performed principally by the liver and to a small extent by the kidney. It is considered a mechanism of detoxication and is frequently used for clinical estimation of hepatic damage. The synthesis and excretion of hippuric acid in man has been reviewed by Quick.4
MICHAEL ST, LOONEY JM, BORKOVIC EJ. SYNTHESIS OF HIPPURIC ACID IN DEMENTIA PRECOX. Arch NeurPsych. 1944;52(1):57–60. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1944.02290310063006
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