THIS PAPER is a report on investigations of plasma free fatty acids (FFA) in depressed patients. A previous paper from this laboratory1 briefly reported the preliminary observations of elevated plasma FFA concentrations (FFA) in severely depressed patients as a group. The present report examines more fully the FFA levels in depressed and manic patients, and examines the interrelationships among clinical measurements of behavior and affect, dietary intake, urinary catecholamines and VMA, urinary 17-hydroxycorticosteroids (17-OHCS), and FFA.
The subjects for these investigations were 23 inpatients with a diagnosis of depressive reaction. There were seven men and 16 women, ranging in age from 21 to 65 years. A total of 263 individual blood samples was drawn for FFA determinations, with a range of 4 to 24 determinations per patient. Only the data from the 19 subjects for whom there were available five or