High plasma norepinephrine levels in patients with major affective disorder

C. R. Lake, D. Pickar, M. G. Ziegler, S. Lipper, S. Slater, D. L. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The authors found that patients with major affective disorder had higher levels of plasma norepinephrine and higher pulse rates (tachycardia) than healthy control subjects, but their blood pressures were normal. These measurements were similar in all three subgroups of patients with affective disorder - manic, bipolar depressed, and unipolar. Because norepinephrine is the primary neurotransmitter of the sympathetic nervous system, these data suggest sympathetic hyperactivity in the major affective disorders. This conclusion is compatible with recent speculation based on the effect of antidepressants on noradrenergic receptors and a failure of α-receptors to downregulate normally in patients with major affective disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1315-1318
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Volume139
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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  • Cite this

    Lake, C. R., Pickar, D., Ziegler, M. G., Lipper, S., Slater, S., & Murphy, D. L. (1982). High plasma norepinephrine levels in patients with major affective disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 139(10), 1315-1318.