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October 1969

Phenolic Acids in Experimental Uremia: I. Potential Role of Phenolic Acids in the Neurological Manifestations of Uremia

Author Affiliations

New Haven, Conn
From the sections of neurology and clinical pathology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.

Arch Neurol. 1969;21(4):387-394. doi:10.1001/archneur.1969.00480160059007

MANY ORGANIC acids accumulate in renal failure.1 The role of phenolic acids in the pathogenesis of uremia has been reviewed by Schreiner and Maher2 and others.3-10 Blood phenols are primarily derived from the action of intestinal bacteria on protein derivatives containing aromatic amino acids. They are absorbed from the gut, conjugated in the liver, and excreted principally by the kidneys. Normally total plasma phenols including various amino acids, phenols, and aromatic hydroxy acids do not exceed 0.1 mg/100 ml. Marked elevations of free and conjugated phenols have been detected in uremia and reported to correlate with uremic symptoms, especially those of central nervous system (CNS) depression.3-6

The present study was undertaken to evaluate in vivo the potential contribution of the phenolic compound, 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid (3,4-DHBA) (protocatechuic acid) to the pathogenesis of uremia. This compound was selected because it is excreted in considerable amounts (46

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