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Sympathoadrenomedullary activity in the neuroleptic malignant syndrome

Authors
Journal
Biological Psychiatry
0006-3223
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
32
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0006-3223(92)90037-z
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Many clinical features of the neuroleptic malignant syndrome suggest that sympathetic nervous system hyperactivity is involved in the pathophysiology of this disorder. Only a few studies have examined levels of catecholamines or their metabolites in patients with NMS; results so far have been inconclusive. In the present study urinary catecholamine metabolites obtained during the course of NMS were studied with respect to frequently reported signs and symptoms of NMS. The principal findings are that (1) elevated urinary catecholamines and metabolites are a frequent but inconstant feature of NMS; (2) it is likely that sympathetic nervous system hyperactivity contributes to the picture of fulminant NMS; and (3) the role of the adrenal medulla in producing excess catecholamines during NMS is uncertain.

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