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August 1975

Cerebrospinal Fluid Amine Metabolites in Acute Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

From the Adult Psychiatry Branch (Drs. Post, Fink, and Carpenter) and the Laboratory of Clinical Science (Dr. Goodwin), National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md. Dr. Fink is now with Butler Hospital, Providence, RI.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1975;32(8):1063-1069. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1975.01760260127011

The metabolites of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5HIAA), homovanillic acid (HVA), and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxy-phenylethylene glycol (MHPG), respectively, were studied in cerebrospinal fluid of patients with acute schizophrenia. Base line levels of these metabolites were not significantly different from those in normal, neurological, and affectively ill controls. Accumulations of 5HIAA and HVA following probenecid administration, which provide a measure of serotonin and dopamine turnover, were also not significantly different in patients with acute schizophrenia and affective illness.

After patients had recovered from their acute schizophrenic illness, HVA accumulations were significantly reduced. We discuss results in relation to amine hypotheses of schizophrenia and the suggestion that altered dopamine metabolism may reflect a biological change predisposing to acute schizophrenia.

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