A Psychopharmacological Study of Catecholamines in Affective Disorders

F. S. Messiha, C. Savage, I. Turek, T. E. Hanlon

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6 Scopus citations


Relationships of treatment, symptom display, and catecholamine (CA) excretion are reported in the context of lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) administration to various types of psychiatric disorders. Data consisted of mean effects on selected groups before and after treatment and of longitudinal case study material with each treatment modality. Group data revealed that 8 of 10 manic patients displayed increased dopamine (DA) excretion at the height of their manic phases. Following stabilization with Li2CO3, the excretion of urinary DA for the group returned to normal output. In the manic phase of a single manic-depressive case treated with Li2CO3, both norepinephrine (NE) and DA excretions were elevated above normal levels before and during 2 weeks of lithium treatment. Increase in urinary DA was comparatively greater and persisted during the initial 2 weeks of lithium therapy. Normal levels of DA excretion were found following “stabilization.” There was little relationship between the intensity of the manic state, in terms of ratings on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, and the extent of increase in CA excretion. Regarding ECT, data for separate groups of 7 and 8 patients, respectively, revealed a tendency for DA and homovanillic (HVA) excretion (the latter determined for the first group only) to increase following ECT exposure, a finding more consistently reflected in the change scores of patients originally considered depressed. In the series of DA and HVA determinations obtained on a retarded-depressed case prior to and during a course of nine ECT sessions, DA excretion increased 4-fold following the first ECT session. Following the fifth and ninth ECT sessions, DA excretion was at a high normal level. Similar, though less demonstrable, changes were obtained for urinary HVA. The results are discussed with reference to available information regarding the relationship of urinary DA excretion to mood and movement disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-347
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1974

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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