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Phenylethylamine and schizophrenia.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.


1. The evidence that phenylethylamine (PEA) plays a role in the etiology of schizophrenia is reviewed. 2. PEA shares structural and physiological similarities with the amphetamines, the administration of which can induce a schizophrenia-like psychosis. 3. While there are a number of reports of high urinary PEA excretion in schizophrenic patients, the measurement of PEA in other body fluids and the measurement of phenylacetic acid (the major metabolite of PEA) has resulted in inconsistent findings. 4. The use of neuroleptic medication is a major confounding variable in most of the clinical studies. If PEA does have a role in the etiology of schizophrenia, the mechanism may involve PEAs ability to amplify dopamine responses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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