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March 1980

Psychiatric Vulnerability, Monoamine Oxidase, and the Average Evoked Potential

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Psychology and Psychopathology (Dr Haier), Biological Psychiatry Branch (Dr Buchsbaum), and the Clinical Neuropharmacology Branch (Dr Murphy), National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md, the Psychology Department, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (Dr Gottesman), and the Psychology Department, University of Maryland, College Park (Dr Coursey). Dr Haier is presently with Butler Hospital, Providence, RI.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980;37(3):340-345. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780160110013

• College students in two separate studies had platelet monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity determinations and average evoked potential (AEP) measurements taken. On the basis of Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) or Research Diagnostic Criteria (RDC) evaluations, psychopathology, particularly affective disorder, was found to be more prevalent among both persons with the combination of low MAO activity and AEP augmenting and those with high MAO activity and AEP reducing. The same pattern is apparent whether students were selected for extremely high or low MAO activity (study 1) or for elevated or normal MMPI scores (study 2). Some psychiatric patient groups also show this pattern. An interactive model of sensation-seeking and sensory inhibition is presented.

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