In a group of six Parkinsonian patients and 13 "controls" with non-Parkinsonian neurological disease, there was a high correlation between both free and conjugated phenylacetic acid concentrations in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid taken at about the same time. This compound is the major metabolite of phenylethylamine, the production of which may be disturbed in a number of neuropsychiatric illnesses. Thus plasma measurements might be employed clinically to provide an estimate of central changes in phenylethylamine economy. A small but significantly higher proportion of conjugated phenylacetic acid was present in the plasma (but not cerebrospinal fluid) of Parkinsonians compared with controls.
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