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December 1985

Serotoninergic System in Dementia of the Alzheimer Type: Abnormal Forms of 5-Hydroxytryptophan and Serotonin in Cerebrospinal Fluid

Author Affiliations

From the Geriatric Research Education Clinical Center, E. N. Rogers Veterans Memorial Hospital (Drs Volicer and Mark) and Environmental Science Associates, Inc (Dr Matson and Mr Gamache), Bedford, Mass; and McLean Hospital (Dr Langlais), Belmont, Mass.

Arch Neurol. 1985;42(12):1158-1161. doi:10.1001/archneur.1985.04060110040013

• Serotonin (5-HT), its precursor 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), and its major metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) were measured in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 14 patients with dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT) and in nine controls by high-performance liquid chromatography with a novel multisensor coulometric detection system. Concentrations of both 5-HT and 5-HIAA detected by this system were lower than the concentrations obtained using conventional amperometric detection. This difference was caused by coelution of compounds that could be resolved from 5-HT and 5-HIAA by the multisensor coulometric system. One of the coelution compounds, observed in DAT but not in control CSF, behaved like a partially oxidized 5-HT. A compound behaving like partially oxidized 5-HTP was also observed in DAT CSF. Concentrations of 5-HTP, 5-HT, and 5-HIAA were lower in DAT CSF than in a corresponding fraction of control CSF. These results indicate involvement of the serotoninergic system in DAT and might lead to development of a diagnostic test for DAT.

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