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Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1991 Jun;48(6):556-62.

Altered serotonin activity in anorexia nervosa after long-term weight restoration. Does elevated cerebrospinal fluid 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid level correlate with rigid and obsessive behavior?

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Laboratory of Psychology and Psychopathology, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, Md.


To avoid the confounding influences of malnutrition or weight loss, we studied patients with anorexia nervosa at normal weight and stable dietary intake. Compared with 15 controls, 17 long-term weight-restored anorectic subjects had elevated concentrations of cerebrospinal fluid 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, the major serotonin metabolite, whereas levels of cerebrospinal fluid homovanillic acid, the major dopamine metabolite, were normal. Elevated levels of cerebrospinal fluid 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid may indicate increased serotonin activity. Such activity could contribute to pathological feeding behavior. Most importantly, this study raises the question as to whether increased cerebrospinal fluid 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid levels are associated with overly inhibited, anxious, or obsessive traits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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