The present study explored the usefulness of plasma amino acid concentrations in discriminating a subgroup of patients with transient acute polymorphic psychoses characterized by psychosensory symptoms (APP+ patients). Levels of amino acids in the plasma of APP+ patients were compared with levels in psychiatric patients with other types of psychotic symptomatology and a healthy control group. Both the APP+ patients with bipolar affective disorder had significantly lower plasma concentrations of serine compared with concentrations in the other groups studied. Since the plasma concentrations of taurine and methionine were also different in the APP+ patients, the ratio of taurine to the product of serine and methionine (the TSM ratio) was used in an attempt to increase the sensitivity in discriminating these patients. The TSM ratio in the APP+ patients was significantly higher than those in the other groups studied, except for the patients with bipolar affective disorder. It appears that the determination of serine and the TSM ratio in the plasma of psychotic patients may be a useful diagnostic validator in a group of patients with acute polymorphic psychoses.

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Psychiatry Research
Department of Neuroscience

Fekkes, D. (1994). Abnormal plasma levels of serine, methionine, and taurine in transient acute polymorphic psychosis. Psychiatry Research, 51(1), 11–18. doi:10.1016/0165-1781(94)90043-4