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J Psychiatry Neurosci. 1996 Mar;21(2):109-13.

Platelet abnormalities in aggressive subjects with mental deficiency.

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  • 1Institute of Psychiatry, University of Pisa, Italy.


Platelet 3H-imipramine (3H-IMI) binding and platelet sulfotransferase (ST) activity, taken as markers of the serotonin (5-HT) and sulfated neurotransmitters (tyramine, dopamine, serotonin, noradrenaline), respectively, were evaluated in 14 severely aggressive subjects institutionalized since childhood for mental retardation and in an equal number of healthy controls. The results showed the presence of a lower number of 3H-IMI binding sites and a higher ST activity in the patients as compared with controls. These data provide supporting evidence for the hypothesis of an abnormality of the 5-HT system and suggest possible dysfunctions of dopamine and sulfated amines in aggressive behavior, at least as reflected by platelet markers.

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