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November 1952

SERUM CHOLINESTERASE ACTIVITY IN MENTAL DISEASEEffect of Shock Therapy

Author Affiliations

BOSTON

From the Laboratory of Clinical Physiology, McLean Hospital, Waverley, Mass.; the Yamins Surgical Research Laboratory, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, and the Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1952;68(5):645-650. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1952.02320230071008
Abstract

A CONSIDERABLE body of biochemical, pharmacologic, and physiologic data suggests an important, if not major, role for the acetylcholinesterase-acetylcholine system in the transmission of the nerve impulse.1 This has apparently prompted a number of investigations into the variations in serum cholinesterase activity in relation to mental diseases characterized by changes in mood or mention,2 as well as studies on the effect of therapy of mental disorders on the serum enzyme level3 and observations on the effect of cholinesterase inhibitors on mental activity and emotional status.4 Although the reported results are at some variance with one another, it was decided, in view of a claim of a significant elevation in serum cholinesterase activity in anxiety states and a significant depression of its activity in schizophrenia,2a to reinvestigate this problem. A recently developed colorimetric method with a fairly high degree of accuracy and reproducibility, based on a

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