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May 1981

CSF Levels of Norepinephrine During Alcohol Withdrawal

Author Affiliations

From the Neurology Service, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Washington, DC (Dr Hawley); the Department of Psychiatry, State University of New York, Binghamton (Dr Major); the Neurology Department, Temple University, Philadelphia (Dr Schulman); and the Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, United States University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md (Dr Lake).

Arch Neurol. 1981;38(5):289-292. doi:10.1001/archneur.1981.00510050055008

• Cerebrospinal fluid norepinephrine (NE) levels were determined by radioenzymatic assay in 21 patients with a variety of neurological diseases and 49 patients in acute alcohol withdrawal. A second determination was made in 19 patients who had recovered from the alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Cerebrospinal fluid NE concentration was higher in the patients during alcohol withdrawal (192.3 ± 22.3 pg/mL) and decreased during recovery to 137.8 ± 15.9 pg/mL. The CSF NE level was higher in both groups than in patients with other neurological disorders. This may help to explain the adrenergic signs observed during alcohol withdrawal.