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March 1959

Study of Excretion of 5-Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid in Mental Patients

Author Affiliations

Galesburg, Ill.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1959;81(3):292-298. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1959.02340150024003

Introduction  5-Hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) has recently been shown to be a major end-product of 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin, enteramine) metabolism.1,2 Thus, excretion of this substance is an adequate indicator of serotonin metabolism under some conditions. Many studies have already been made with serotonin, and several reviews discuss such work.3,4 Even a superficial consideration of all aspects of serotonin is not possible here, and only a brief summary of work relating serotonin to brain function will be presented. The concept that serotonin is involved in brain function is strongly supported by Woolley and Shaw,5,6,7 who used structural analogs of serotonin, and by Gaddum and co-workers,8,9 who employed antagonists of that neurohormone. This concept is also held by Brodie and his group,10-12 who studied the effect of the Rauwolfia alkaloids and other compounds on the release of serotonin from various body sites in animals.This laboratory was especially interested