[Neuroscience] Neurotransmitter levels: How to interpret?

Dad2Lt dad2lt at gmail.com
Sun Jul 23 15:52:46 EST 2006


Hi,

I'm looking for a good source of information on how to interpret
neurotransmitter levels measured from a urine sample.  Here is some
background:

I have 3.5 year old boy with some autistic symptoms (language delay,
lot of hyperactivity, lack of focus etc.).  We had a neurotransmitter
test done from a lab called: NeuroScience.  It showed elevated levels
of almost all of the measured neurotransmitters - except Epinephrine
which was slightly low (6.3 mg/gCr where the reference range was 8-12).
 Here are some examples with reference ranges in parenthesis.

Dopamine - 585 (125-175) mg/gCr
Serotonin - 276 (175-225) mg/gCr
Glycine - 586 (200-400) umol/gCr
Glutamine - 4267 (150-400) umol/gCr (No, this is not a typo. It did
show 10 times the max)
Glutamate - 114 (10-25) umol/gCr
GABA - 10 (1.5-4) umol/gCr

I can appreciate the complexity of the neurology and how it may be
difficult to pinpoint what this means - let alone to find out what to
do about it.  Still - I'd like to get started in understanding, what
this could possibly mean, what additional steps can be taken to confirm
or reject any hypothesis etc.  Though it'll be great if someone here
can shed some light on these issues - I'll be happy if I can at least
be guided to a source where I can find answers to my questions.

Appreciate your help in advance.

Dad to Late Talker

Questions:

1) Is this not something to be alarmed about? (I understand that most
people have some type of imbalance.  But isn't this too much of an
imbalance?)
2) What can these levels indicate about neurotransmitters in the brain?
 Is it that there are high (toxic?) levels in brain?  Or is this the
indication that too much is getting out and there may be insufficient
amount in the brain?
3) I'm reluctant to play around with brain chemistry with powerful
drugs - but would prefer to identify other problems we identify
(diet/metabolism/gut issues etc.) and hope things in the brain can get
settled.  But if these levels are observed in multiple tests - is this
too serious to be left unaddressed by serious drugs?
4) Lastly, the nutritionist who looked at the results didn't look
alarmed - but we are not sure of the nutritionist's expertise or
comfortable with the explanation given.   But we were told that these
levels indicate high risk to seizures.  Is this true?



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