Brain Serotonin, Mood-Regulation and Aggression-Regulation

  • H. M. van Praag


Rather consistently, the CSF post-probenecid concentration of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) — the main degradation product of 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin, 5-HT) — has been found to be lowered in a subgroup of patients suffering from the syndrome of vital (endogenous) depression (Review: van Praag,. The data on baseline 5-HIAA values in CSF are more controversial (Asberg et al., 1976; Koslow et al., 1983). Several groups have reported that the “subgroup” I referred to above was characterized by strong suicidal tendencies (Banki et al., 1981; Montgomery and Montgomery, 1982; van Praag, 1982; Banki and Arato, 1983). Low CSF 5-HIAA was in particular found in depressed patients who had attempted suicide with violent means (Asberg et al., 1976; Traskman et al., 1982). Subsequently low CSF 5-HIAA was likewise observed in what was called non-psychotic and non-depressed suicide attempters (Traskman et al., 1982). This prompted the hypothesis that disorders in central 5-HT are not so much related to depression as to suicidality irrespective of the nosological context in which this phenomenon occurred.


Suicide Attempt Suicidal Behavior Personality Disorder Suicidal Patient Depression Type 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. M. van Praag
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryAlbert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical CenterBronxUSA

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