Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Cholinesterase Activity of Whole Blood from Healthy and Schizophrenic Individuals


THE results of work presented here were obtained in connexion with a programme of Rh determination of the employees in the Veterans Administration Hospital when a concurrent analysis of their blood cholinesterase activity was being made. As a corollary to the examination of difference of blood cholinesterase activity between normal and schizophrenic individuals, a statistical assessment of the influence of age, sex, and race on the cholinesterase activity was also performed. This communication was prompted partly by the need for additional information concerning cholinesterase activity of whole blood in schizophrenics and partly by the controversy raised by the data and interpretation obtained from a small number of patients by Rubin1, suggesting that “acetyl cholinesterase inbalance may be a biochemical concomitant of the so-called ‘functional psychosis’.” This work received immediate criticism2 which was then answered by Rubin3 without, however, additional supporting evidence. Recently, Ellman4 found no difference on the basis of erythrocyte acetylcholinesterape levels between healthy and mentally ill persons. The available results on serum cholinesterase activity in mental diseases are equally at variance with one another5,6. Of interest is the extensive work of Kalow et al.1 on a genetic approach to the correlation of human serum cholinesterase to various factors.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Rubin, L. S., Science, 128, 254 (1958).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Krech, D., Rosenzweig, M. R., and Bennett, E. L., Science, 128, 1176 (1958).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Rubin, L. S., Science, 128, 1176 (1958).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Ellman, G. L., Nature, 192, 1216 (1961).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Ravin, H. A., and Altschule, M. D., Amer. Med. Assoc. Arch. Neurol. and Psych., 68, 645 (1952).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Plum, C. M., Clin. Chem., 6, 332 (1960).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Kalow, W., and Staron, N., Canad. J. Biochem. and Physiol., 35, 1305 (1957).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Gal, E. M., and Roth, E., Clin. Chim. Acta, 2, 316 (1957).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Early, D. F., Hemphill, R. E., Reiss, M., and Brummel, E., Biochem. J., 45, 552 (1949).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Snedecor, G. W., Statistical Methods, fifth ed. (Iowa State Univ. Press. Ames, Iowa, 1961).

  11. Kety, S. S., Science, 129, 1528 (1958).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  12. Augustinsson, K. B., in Methods of Biochemical Analysis, 5 (Interscience. Publishers, New York, 1957).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

GAL, E. Cholinesterase Activity of Whole Blood from Healthy and Schizophrenic Individuals. Nature 198, 1118–1119 (1963).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing