Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 74, Issue 1, pp 55–59

Creatinine and creatine in CSF: indices of brain energy metabolism in depression


  • H. Ågren
    • Department of Psychiatry (North)University Hospital Uppsala
  • F. Niklasson
    • Department of Clinical ChemistryUniversity Hospital Uppsala
Short Note

DOI: 10.1007/BF01243575

Cite this article as:
Ågren, H. & Niklasson, F. J. Neural Transmission (1988) 74: 55. doi:10.1007/BF01243575


In an attempt to chemically estimate cerebral energy metabolism, creatine and creatinine was measured in cerebrospinal fluid and plasma of up to 135 patients with RDC diagnoses of major depressive disorders. A strong positive age effect and a significant subdiagnostic difference were detected for both substances in CSF, but not in plasma. Primary unipolar patients had higher concentrations than either secondary unipolar or bipolar patients. Further, the two CSF measures correlated highly significantly and positively with the CSF monoamine metabolites HVA and 5-HIAA and the purine metabolites hypoxanthine and xanthine. Results indicate alterations in energy metabolism to be involved in affective disorders as well as in the regulation of monoamine and purine turnover.

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© Springer Verlag 1988