Low cerebrospinal fluid 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid concentration differentiates impulsive from nonimpulsive violent behavior

Life Sci. 1983 Dec 26;33(26):2609-14. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(83)90344-2.


Relationships of impulsive and nonimpulsive violent behavior to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) monoamines and their metabolic concentrations were studied in thirty-six violent offenders. A relatively low 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5HIAA) concentration was found in the CSF of impulsive violent offenders. This was not true for the offenders who had premeditated their acts. Other CSF monoamine or metabolite concentrations were not significantly different between the two groups. Of the groups studied, impulsive violent offenders who had attempted suicide had the lowest 5HIAA levels. A low CSF 5HIAA concentration may be a marker of impulsivity rather than violence.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Compulsive Behavior / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Homovanillic Acid / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norepinephrine / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Violence*


  • 3,4-Dihydroxyphenylacetic Acid
  • Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid
  • Norepinephrine
  • Homovanillic Acid