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November 1985

Cerebrospinal Fluid 3-Methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol and Norepinephrine Levels in Alcohol Withdrawal: Correlations With Clinical Signs

Author Affiliations

From the Neurology Service, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Washington, DC (Drs Hawley and Schulman); Upstate Medical Center, State University of New York College of Medicine, Binghamton (Dr Major); and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Bethesda, Md (Dr Linnoila).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1985;42(11):1056-1062. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1985.01790340034005

• Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) concentrations were significantly elevated in patients during the alcohol withdrawal syndrome. When CSF MHPG was corrected using a formula proposed to determine CSF MHPG levels of central origin, these values were still significantly elevated when compared with control values. The MHPG concentrations in CSF also showed significant positive correlations with heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, tremor, anorexia, and sweating. The results of this study indicate increased presynaptic release of norepinephrine during alcohol withdrawal.

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