Brief debrisoquin administration to assess central dopaminergic function in children

Mark A. Riddle, Bennett A. Shaywitz, James F. Leckman, George M. Anderson, Sally E. Shaywitz, Maureen T. Hardin, Sharon I. Ort, Donald J. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Central dopaminergic (DA) function in children was assessed by monitoring plasma-free homovanillic acid (pHVA) levels after brief (18 hour) administration with debrisoquin sulfate, a peripherally active antihypertensive agent that blocks peripheral, but not central, HVA production. Brief debrisoquin administration resulted in marked reductions in pHVA in each of six patients studied. In five of the six patients, post-debrisoquin pHVA levels remained relatively stable over the six-hour period of observation. No significant cardiovascular or behavioral side effects of debrisoquin were observed. The brief debrisoquin administration method appears to be a safe, simple, and potentially valid peripheral technique for evaluating aspects of central dopaminergic function in children with neuropsychiatric disorders. Additional work is needed to further establish this method's validity and reliability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1041-1048
Number of pages8
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 17 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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