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Neurochemical measures co-vary with personality traits: Forensic psychiatric findings replicated in a general population sample.

Journal article
Authors Thomas Nilsson
Sara Bromander
Rolf Anckarsäter
Marianne Kristiansson
Anders Forsman
Kaj Blennow
Henrik Zetterberg
Henrik Anckarsäter
Caroline Wass
Published in Psychiatry research
Volume 178
Issue 3
Pages 525-530
ISSN 0165-1781
Publication year 2010
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Pharmacology
Pages 525-530
Language en
Subject categories Psychiatry


Neurobiological markers in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and in serum, previously found to co-vary with destructive personality traits in violent offenders, were explored in a general population sample of 21 patients undergoing knee surgery. Results on the Karolinska Scales of Personality (KSP) and the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) were compared with CSF/serum albumin ratios and serum concentrations of beta-trace protein (betaTP) (as markers for blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability), to CSF/serum albumin ratios between the dopamine and serotonin metabolites homovanillic acid (HVA)/5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (HIAA) and to CSF and serum ratios between activated thyroid hormone (T3) and its precursor T4. Serum betaTP concentrations correlated with CSF/serum albumin ratios (P =0.018), but not with preoperative serum creatinine concentrations. Serum betaTP correlated significantly with Monotony Avoidance and Impulsiveness; CSF HVA/5-HIAA ratios with Irritability and low Cooperativeness. The betaTP is a potential serum marker for the integrity of the BBB that does not necessitate lumbar puncture. Thyroid hormones did not correlate with personality traits. As reported in forensic psychiatric patients, aggressive, unempathic personality traits were thus associated with increased dopaminergic activity in relation to the serotonergic activity and impulsivity to increased BBB permeability also in a general population group.

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