In 1953 Gaddum1 discovered the hallucinogenic agent lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD-25) to be a powerful in vitro antagonist of serotonin, and he offered the hypothesis that normal central nervous system function is related to, or dependent upon normal serotonin content of the central nervous system. In 1954 Woolley and Shaw,2,3 postulating that abnormal central nervous system function could be associated with either a deficiency or an excess of serotonin, formulated a theory of schizophrenigenesis based upon the antagonism (and, later, the similarities4) between LSD-25 and serotonin. These authors suggested that determination of serotonin levels in spinal fluids would be highly valuable. The work here reported derives from this suggestion.
Inasmuch as acetylcholine-cholinesterase imbalance has been implicated in schizophrenia and manic-depressive psychosis,5,6 acetylcholine levels were also measured. Despite the tremendous interest in acetylcholine over a period of many years, reference to
TURNER WJ, MAUSS EA. Serotonin (5-Hydroxytryptamine) and Acetylcholine in Human Ventricular and Spinal Fluids. AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1959;1(6):646–650. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1959.03590060108012
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