Apr 7, 1967

Biogenic amines and emotion

J J Schildkraut, S S Kety


The studies discussed here have shown a fairly consistent relationship between the effects of drugs on biogenic amines, particularly norepinephrine, and affective or behavioral states. Those drugs which cause depletion and inactivation of norepinephrine centrally produce sedation or depression, while drugs which increase or potentiate brain norepinephrine are associated with behavioral stimulation or excitement and generally have an antidepressant effect in man (Table 1). From these findings, a number of investigators have formulated the concept, designated the catecholamine hypothesis of affective disorders (6), that some, if not all, depressions may be associated with a relative deficiency of norepinephrine at functionally important adrenergic receptor sites in the brain, whereas elations may be associated with an excess of such amines. It is not possible either to confirm or to reject this hypothesis on the basis of currently available clinical data. Although there does appear to be a fairly consistent relationship between the effects of pharmacological agents on norepinephrine metabolism and on affective state, a rigorous extrapolation from pharmacological studies to pathophysiology cannot be made. Confirmation of this hypo...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Cessation of Life
Manic Disorder
Dopamine Beta Hydroxylase Deficiency
Mood Disorders

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