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Sex differences in plasma homovanillic acid levels in schizophrenia and normal controls: relation to neuroleptic resistance.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Biological Psychiatry
0006-3223
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
41
Issue
5
Pages
560–566
Identifiers
PMID: 9046988
Source
Medline

Abstract

Plasma homovanillic acid (pHVA) levels were compared in a large number of neuroleptic-resistant and -responsive schizophrenic patients (male/female = 161/46) and normal controls (67/27), and correlated with various measures of psychopathology. Psychopathology was evaluated with the brief psychiatric rating scale, the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia-Change version (SADS-C) and SADS-C Global Assessment Scale, the Scale for Assessment of Negative Symptoms, the Scale for Assessment of Positive Symptoms (SAPS), and the Quality of Life Scale. No significant differences in pHVA levels between neuroleptic-resistant (n = 104) or -responsive (n = 103) schizophrenic patients, and normal controls, were found; however, there was a main effect for sex, due to higher pHVA levels in women than men. There were no diagnosis x gender or age effects on pHVA levels. No significant correlations were observed between psychopathology ratings and baseline pHVA levels, except with the Hallucinations subscale of SAPS in neuroleptic-responsive patients. Neither duration of neuroleptic washout nor plasma prolactin levels correlated with pHVA levels. Further studies on the origin and significance of the gender difference in pHVA are indicated.

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