Does 3H‐imipramine binding asymmetry indicate psychiatric illness?

E. Demeter, K. Tekes, K. Majorossy, M. Arato, E. Somogyi

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ABSTRACT— We have accepted that serotonin is essentially an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the human brain, so we propose that it is precisely this inhibiting effect that has weakened in psychiatric cases. We have investigated the asymmetry of tritiated imipramine binding sites (Bmax) in the frontal cortices of homicide victims (n= 6) and controls (n= 6) who died of natural causes. Of these homicide victims examined in our experiment, five proved to have been psychiatric cases and one case had no psychiatric record. The two groups were comparable in age, gender and postmortem delay. The number of imipramine binding sites (Bmax) in the frontal cortices of controls was significantly higher in the right hemisphere than in the left hemisphere. But the homicide victims who were psychiatric cases had significantly higher (Bmax) values in the left hemisphere. While we only found higher Bmax values in the left hemisphere of homicide victims with mental diseases, our data may serve to prove the direct role of the serotonergic mechanism in the development of psychiatric cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)746-747
Number of pages2
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1988



  • cerebral asymmetry
  • imipramine binding
  • serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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