The levels of two endorphines, endogenously occurring morphinomimetic peptides, were measured in serial samples of CSF from seven psychiatric patients. Four cases with chronic schizophrenia were studied before and after treatment with the antipsychotic agent clozapine (Leponex). Supernormal fraction II levels were found on at least one sampling occasion in each patient. Two patients, who responded well to clozapine treatment, showed a clear-cut drop in fraction II levels, whereas two patients showed increased levels which paralleled a deterioration of the schizophrenic symptoms. Three manic-depressive cases showed abnormally high levels of endorphine fraction I in the manic phase which declined during normal or depressed phases. Levels of fraction II varied in a less consistent manner and appeared to be at maximum during the apparently normal phases. Although preliminary, the data indicate that endorphines may reach supernormal levels in patients with chronic psychoses. © 1976.
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