Attention deficit disorder symptoms and urine catecholamines

Graham A. Rogeness, James W. Maas, Martin A. Javors, Carlos A. Macedo, Charles Fischer, William R. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and concentration deficits associated with attention deficit disorder (ADD) may be related, in part, to alterations in dopaminergic and noradrenergic functioning. In this study we correlate the above symptoms with 24-hour urinary catecholamines and their metabolites in emotionally disturbed boys divided into two groups based on their plasma dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DBH) activities and also divided into the following diagnostic groups: conduct disorder, undersocialized; conduct disorder, socialized; and subjects without conduct disorder. Boys in the low DBH group showed significant correlations between the ADD symptoms and the biochemical measures. The low DBH group may be more genetically homogeneous with regard to catecholamine function, making relationships between catecholamine function and behavior more visible. The group of boys with conduct disorder, socialized had higher 24-hour urinary norepinephrine and vanillylmandelic acid output. The relationship between monoamines and their metabolites appeared to differ among diagnostic groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-251
Number of pages11
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1989


  • Attention deficit disorder
  • catecholamines
  • conduct disorder
  • dopamine-β-hydroxylase
  • norepinephrine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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