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Cerebrospinal Fluid and Plasma Monoamine Metabolites and Their Relation to Psychosis:  Implications for Regional Brain Dysfunction in Schizophrenia

David Pickar, MD; Alan Breier, MD; John K. Hsiao, MD; Allen R. Doran, MD; Owen M. Wolkowitz, MD; Carlos N. Pato, MD; P. Eric Konicki, MD; William Z. Potter, MD, PhD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1990;47(7):641-648. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1990.01810190041006.
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• The relationship between central (cerebrospinal fluid [CSF]) and peripheral (plasma) monoaminergic metabolites and psychotic symptoms was examined in 22 drug-free schizophrenic inpatients. The CSF homovanillic acid levels did not differ significantly between patients and normal controls (n = 33). The CSF homovanillic acid levels, however, were negatively correlated with ratings of psychosis and positive symptoms, and the CSF homovanillic acid and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid levels correlated negatively with individual deficit symptoms. Stepwise and hierarchical multiple-regression analysis revealed that among monoaminergic measures, only the CSF and plasma homovanillic acid levels contributed significantly to the total Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale and positive symptom variance with negative and positive partial correlations, respectively. Levels of CSF 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol, but not of CSF norepinephrine, were significantly elevated in the schizophrenic patients compared with controls, and plasma 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol levels were positively correlated with negative symptoms. We discuss the potential implications of these findings for a model of dopaminergic dysfunction in schizophrenia involving distinct cortical and subcortical contributions.

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