Central Norepinephrine Metabolism in Affective Illness: MHPG in the Cerebrospinal Fluid

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  09 Mar 1973:
Vol. 179, Issue 4077, pp. 1002-1003
DOI: 10.1126/science.179.4077.1002


Concentrations of the norepinephrine metabolite 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenyl glycol in cerebrospinal fluid were measured by a gas chromatographic method in 34 patients with affective illness and in 44 controls. Concentrations of this metabolite in spinal fluid were significantly lower in depressed patients than in controls or manic patients. These low values may occur secondary to depressive phenomena such as reduced psychomotor activity, or they may reflect a primary change in norepinephrine metabolism in depressive illness.