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March 1958

Urinary Excretion of Some Products of Tryptophan Metabolism in Schizophrenic Patients

Author Affiliations

Ann Arbor, Mich.

From the Department of Pharmacology, University of Michigan Medical School.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;79(3):336-340. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340030100016

The apparent usefulness of a variety of drugs in the treatment of schizophrenia has rekindled interest in the study of mental disease from a biochemical point of view. Young et al.1 have reported that abnormal diazo-coupling compounds are present in the urine of schizophrenics. Sano2 reported that certain indole derivatives can be found more frequently in the urine of schizophrenics than in "normal" subjects. Recently McGeer et al.3,4 have shown that schizophrenics excrete a number of aromatic compounds that appear infrequently in normal urine.

Many substances which contain an indole nucleus are potent pharmacological agents. Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD-25) is a powerful hallucinogen5; reserpine is widely used in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disturbances and hypertension. Serotonin, an amine containing the indole nucleus, has diverse pharmacological actions in the central nervous system and acts peripherally as a vasoconstrictor agent.

LSD-25 can antagonize some of the effects of