Skeletal muscle abnormalities in patients with affective disorders

Herbert Y. Meltzer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Fourteen of 17 manic-depressive patients had pathological levels of serum creatine phosphokinase (SCPK) activity as did 2 of 3 patients with psychotic depressions. Nine patients had elevated SCPK levels at admission, the elevations persisting for an average of 6 days after admission. Seven patients had their first increase in SCPK levels after admission. The median elevated SCPK activity was 3 times the upper limit of normal. Only the skeletal muscle isoenzyme of CPK was found in the sera. Serum aldolase (SAld) activity was increased in 8 of 14 manic-depressive patients and 1 of 3 psychotically depressed patients. Ten other serum enzymes were not increased in the patients with affective psychoses. Three of 6 hypomanic patients had slight increases in SCPK levels. Twenty-six, non-psychotic, depressed patients all had normal SCPK and SAld levels throughout hospitalization. Nine of 30 first-degree relatives of patients with acute affective psychoses had persistent, slightly increased SCPK levels. Ten of 17 patients with affective psychoses had abnormal skeletal muscle biopsies. None of the muscle biopsies from 18 patients with neurotic depressive illness were abnormal. The implications of finding a biological abnormality which is partially successful in distinguishing psychotic from non-psychotic affective disorders, and which is common to all the so-called "functional" psychoses is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-57
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1973

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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