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May 1958

Ascorbic Acid Level and Lag Time in Oxidation of N,N-Dimethyl-p-Phenylenediamine: Correlation in Sera of Normal Controls, Psychotic Patients, and Animals

Author Affiliations


From the Institute of Psychiatric Research and the Department of Psychiatry, Indiana University Medical Center.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;79(5):575-579. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340050103012

Introduction  Recently Akerfeldt reported that the sera of patients with certain mental disturbances (schizophrenic, manic-depressive, and senile psychotic reactions) had the capacity to oxidize N,N-dimethyl-p-phenylenediamine dihydrochloride (DPP) more rapidly than fresh sera obtained from healthy normal subjects.1,2 He suggested that the lag period in the oxidation of DPP by normal sera was probably due to a reducing substance, most likely ascorbic acid.This relationship has been examined in the present report. Data will be presented to show that there is a correlation between serum ascorbic acid and the lag period in the oxidation of DPP by sera from the normal as well as the schizophrenic human subjects used in our study. It will be demonstrated that this relationship also exists in the case of dogs and rabbits.The validity of Akerfeldt's formula for determining the ascorbic acid content of serum from the measurements of the lag period in

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