Arginine vasopressin (AVP) was determined in plasma and lumbar CSF from 46 patients with Parkinson's disease, dementia, cerebrovascular disease, multiple sclerosis and other, mostly peripheral neurological disorders. The mean plasma concentration of AVP was 1.62 microU/ml, the CSF concentration 1.14 microU/ml and the gradient CSF/plasma 0.72. There was a good correlation between the plasma and the CSF values in most patients. No sex difference could be found. A slight decrease of the CSF values could be found with increasing age. Significantly higher CSF-AVP values were found in patients with cerebrovascular disease, whereas lower CSF values were found in patients with dementia and Parkinson's disease. However there were decreased CSF/plasma gradients in patients with dementia and Parkinson's disease to about 0.30 compared to 0.98 in patients with peripheral neurological disorders. Patients with multiple sclerosis had an increased IgG index indicating an intrathecal IgG production but there was no obvious correlation between this and the AVP concentrations in plasma and CSF, nor with the total CSF protein content, nor with the albumin and IgG concentrations in plasma and CSF.
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