Endorphins and Mental Disease

  • Karl Verebey
  • Mark S. Gold


It was recognized many years ago that endogenous regulation of physiological processes is often performed by chemicals synthesized in the organism. Many of the chemicals are peptide hormones. A certain portion of each peptide chain has a specific amino acid sequence representing the “keys” that turn on or off the “locks” of the receptors, which regulate specific physiological functions. Recently, it has been discovered that a very-well-studied group of drugs, the opioids, have endogenous peptide analogs called the endorphins. Various sizes have been found, the smallest being the pentapeptide enkephalins. Somewhat larger are the dynorphins, containing up to 21 amino acids. The largest oligopeptides (e.g., ß-endorphin) contain 31 amino acids. One characteristic common to other endorphins is that somewhere in the polypeptide molecule, the amino acid sequence of Met-enkephalin is present. This indicates that the active principle for opioid activity is coded by 4 or 5 amino acids in a specific sequence.


Mental Disease Schizophrenic Patient Locus Coeruleus Tardive Dyskinesia Opioid Peptide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl Verebey
    • 1
  • Mark S. Gold
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.New York State Division of Substance Abuse Services Testing and Research Laboratory, and Department of PsychiatryDownstate Medical SchoolBrooklynUSA
  2. 2.Fair Oaks HospitalSummitUSA
  3. 3.Psychiatric Diagnostic Laboratory of AmericaSummitUSA

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