Background: Variations in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of the monoamine metabolites 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, 3-methoxy-4- hydroxyphenylglycol, and homovanillic acid have been associated with behavioral abnormalities in nonhuman primates, and with psychopathology in studies of children and adults. Methods: We assayed monoamine metabolites in 'leftover' spinal fluid from 167 neurologically normal newborn infants (0-3 months of age), and later (at age 18-21 months of age) obtained their family psychiatric histories and assessed their temperament using the Colorado Childhood Temperament Inventory (CCTI). Results: Family history of antisocial personality disorder predicted significantly lower scores for soothability (p = .003) at 18-21 months. There were no statistically significant associations between newborn monoamine metabolite levels and any aspect of temperament on the CCTI. Conclusions: These findings suggest complex relationships between genetic liability for psychiatric disorders and CSF monoamine metabolite levels; those relationships do not seem to be mediated by infant temperament. It appears likely that interindividual differences in monoamine metabolite levels change over the course of development in humans.
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Behavior genetics
- Monoamine metabolites