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Tryptophan Depletion and Behavioral Disinhibition in Men at Risk for Alcoholism and Antisocial Behavior

  • David LeMarquand
  • Robert O. Pihl
  • Simon N. Young
  • Richard E. Tremblay
  • Roberta M. Palmour
  • Chawki Benkelfat
Part of the Nato ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 292)

Abstract

The present studies tested the hypothesis that experimentally altering central nervous system serotonin (5-HT) synthesis through tryptophan depletion (T-) would increase behavioral disinhibition in susceptible individuals. The oral administration of a mixture of amino acids devoid of tryptophan (trp), the amino acid precursor of 5-HT, is a safe and effective method of lowering brain 5-HT synthesis, and presumably 5-HT function. Previous clinical studies have reported a negative relationship between brain serotonergic functioning and impulsivity. Impulsive fire-setters, particularly those with a family history of alcoholism, as well as impulsive violent offenders, have lower levels of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), a metabolite of 5-HT, compared to nonimpulsive violent offenders and healthy controls (Linnoila, De Jong & Virkkunen, 1989; Virkkunen et al., 1994). Two groups, selected on the basis of an increased risk for alcoholism or antisocial behavior, respectively, were tested: young men with multigenerational family histories of alcoholism, and adolescent males with past histories of aggressive, disruptive behavior.

Keywords

Antisocial Behavior Adolescent Male Commission Error Amino Acid Mixture Violent Offender 
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

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • David LeMarquand
    • 1
  • Robert O. Pihl
    • 1
  • Simon N. Young
    • 1
  • Richard E. Tremblay
    • 1
  • Roberta M. Palmour
    • 1
  • Chawki Benkelfat
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Psychology and PsychiatryMcGill University l’École de Psychoéducation, Université de MontrealMontréalCanada

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