Blood platelet uptake of serotonin in episodic aggression

Candace S. Brown, Thomas A. Kent, Stephen G. Bryant, Robert M. Gevedon, Jan L. Campbell, Alan R. Felthous, Ernest S. Barratt, Robert M. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Blood platelet uptake of 3H-serotonin (5HT uptake), a potential marker of serotonergic function, was determined in male outpatients with episodic aggression (n= 15) and in age- and sex-matched nonaggressive controls (n= 15). Correlations with rating scales of "impulsivity" (Barratt Impulsivity Scale, 10th revision) and "anger" (Spielberger Anger Expression Scale) were performed. Mean 5HT uptake was 18% lower in patients with episodic aggression. A significant negative correlation between % difference in platelet 5HT uptake and impulsivity score was observed, but the correlation between 5HT uptake and anger was not significant. These results support the hypothesis of disturbed serotonergic function in aggression and suggest that the primary relationship is in the "control" of aggression. The blood platelet may be useful in identifying impulsive subtypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-12
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1989


  • Platelet serotonin uptake
  • aggression
  • impulsivity
  • season

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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