Catecholamine enzymes in the degenerative neurological disease idiopathic orthostatic hypotension

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Science  28 May 1976:
Vol. 192, Issue 4242, pp. 910-912
DOI: 10.1126/science.5774


Discrete brain areas and sympathetic ganglia obtained at autopsy from patients with idiopathic orthostatic hypotension were assayed for tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine beta-hydroxylase. Dopamine beta-hydroxylase activity was decreased 7.5-fold in sympathetic ganglia, while tyrosine hydroxylase activity was reduced more than 50-fold in the pontine nucleus locus coeruleus. These observations indicate that noradrenergic neurons of both brain and ganglion are affected in idiopathic orthostatic hypotension, but suggest that the central and peripheral biochemical deficits differ.