This study was undertaken to test a hypothesis that tardive dyskinesia (TD) patients with high plasma dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DBH) activity would also have other enzymatic alterations suggestive of noradrenergic hyperactivity. Plasma renin activity was chosen as a peripheral indicator of noradrenergic function. We measured plasma renin activity in three groups of female psychiatric inpatients over the age of 50: a TD group with high plasma DBH activity, a TD group with low plasma DBH activity, and a non-TD group. The high-DBH TD group had significantly greater plasma renin activity than the other two groups. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that a subgroup of TD patients has relative noradrenergic hyperactivity.