Whole-blood serotonin and cognitive functioning in autistic individuals and their first-degree relatives

M. L. Cuccaro, H. H. Wright, R. K. Abramson, F. A. Marsteller, J. Valentine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


The relationship between cognitive-intellectual abilities and whole-blood serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) in 18 autistic probands and their first-degree relatives (n = 21 parents, n = 13 siblings, was investigated. Wholeblood 5-HT was significantly negatively associated with verbal-expressive/symbolic abilities for the entire sample. The proportion of variance in cognitive-intellectual performances attributable to whole-blood 5-HT was substantial in the context of variance attributable to familial classification. The relationship between verbal-expressive abilities and whole-blood 5-HT, adjusted for race and familial classification, was noteworthy. Simple correlations between 5-HT and cognitive-intellectual performances were conducted. However, bias related to covariance attributable to race seriously limits such findings. The issue of bias and its relevance to previous research is discussed further.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-101
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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