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October 1958

The Stability of Epinephrine and Arterenol (Norepinephrine) in Plasma and Serum: A Comparison of Normal and Schizophrenic Subjects

Author Affiliations

New York With the Technical Assistance of Patricia Doolin

From the Departments of Biochemistry, Psychiatry, and Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; the New York State Psychiatric Institute, and the Presbyterian Hospital.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;80(4):484-487. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340100084020

Introduction  Hoffer and co-workers1,2 have suggested that adrenochrome, an oxidized derivative of epinephrine, may be involved in the development of schizophrenia. In support of this thesis, Leach and Heath3 presented data which they felt were indicative of the instability of epinephrine in the plasma of schizophrenic patients. In the studies of the latter authors, epinephrine (2 mg.) was added to 1 ml. of plasma or serum obtained from schizophrenic and normal subjects, and, at a later time, the extent of formation of an absorption band at 395 mμ was spectrophotometrically determined. In the schizophrenic group, the 395 mμ band was found to have developed, on the average, to more than twice the extent noted for the normal group. These data were interpreted as indicating a more rapid formation of an oxidized form of epinephrine in the schizophrenic group.In the course of our own studies dealing with fluorometric