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Plasma tryptophan levels and plasma tryptophan/ neutral amino acids ratio in patients with mood disorder, patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder, and normal subjects

Authors
Journal
Psychiatry Research
0165-1781
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
44
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0165-1781(92)90043-3
Keywords
  • Affective Disorder
  • Serotonin
  • Tyrosine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Leucine
  • Isoleucine
  • Valine
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Fasting plasma trytophan (TRP) levels and ratios of total plasma tryptophan to the sum of five large neutral amino acids (LNAAs)—tyrosine, phenylalanine, leucine, isoleucine, and valine—that compete with trytophan for passage across the blood-brain barrier were found to be significantly lower in a group of 28 patients with major depression compared with 29 normal subjects and 21 patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The OCD group was divided in two subgroups: Patients with OCD alone and patients with a codiagnosis of major depression. Since it has been considered that these biological parameters reflect brain tryptophan and serotonin levels, our results suggest their importance in relation to the presence or absence of depressive symptoms. The values of the other LNAAs and their sum did not differ significantly among the groups.

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