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Neurochem Int. 1988;13(3):353-7.

Effect of age on cisternal cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of monoamine metabolites in nonhuman primates.

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  • 1Psychiatry Service, William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, Madison, WI 53705, USA.


There are conflicting reports of the effects of aging on human neurotransmitter systems as estimated by monoamine metabolite concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). These discrepancies may be due to sampling site, age or sex of the subjects or other variables that affect CSF metabolite determinations. Cisternal CSF concentrations of homovanillic acid (HVA), 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenyl-ethylene glycol (MHPG) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), major metabolites of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, respectively, were measured in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) of two age groups. Concentrations of HVA and MHPG were significantly lower in the older group of monkeys, whereas no changes in 5-HIAA were found. This supports the hypothesis that brain catecholamine concentrations decline with age.

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