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April 27, 1963

Studies on Urinary Indoles in Mental Patients

Author Affiliations

West Hollywood, Fla.

From the South Florida State Hospital, West Hollywood, Fla. (Dr. Krall, Mr. Lever, Mr. Villaverde, and Miss Billett), and the departments of psychiatry and biochemistry, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami (Dr. Krall). Dr. Krall is a Mental Health Career Investigator, National Institutes of Mental Health.

JAMA. 1963;184(4):280-282. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.73700170005010a

THE HYPOTHESIS that schizophrenia may result from or be accompanied by a biochemical defect leading to production of abnormal indoles or abnormal amounts of normal indoles has been advanced and tested experimentally many times and has led to widely differing conclusions. Several recent reports have shown the presence of higher than usual amounts of specific indoles in the urine of schizophrenic subjects. This paper summarizes the results of a large-scale chromatographic study of the urinary levels of 6-hydroxyskatole sulfate (6-HSK) and indole-3-acetamide (IAM) in normal subjects compared with schizophrenic, manic-depressive, and senile psychotic subjects. The graphic summary of the data presented here shows no significant differences in rate of excretion of these indoles between any of the four groups of subjects.

Sprince1,2 has presented two thorough reviews of the possible relationship between indoles and mental disease. Sprince et al3 have presented evidence that 6-HSK can be isolated from