Plasma phospholipid essential fatty acids and some of their main metabolites, prostaglandins, were measured among habitually violent and impulsive male offenders, who all had alcohol abuse problems, and nonviolent control persons. Linoleic acid (18:2n-6), the precursor of the n-6 fatty acids, was below normal in intermittent explosive disorder, but the dihomogammalinolenic acid (DGLA) (20:3n-6) and some subsequent n-6 acids were at the same time elevated among all offenders. Also, a monounsaturate, oleic acid (18:1n-9) was elevated. The high DGLA correlated with low cholesterol level in intermittent explosive disorder. The arachidonic acid metabolites PGE2 and TxB2 were elevated in violent antisocial personality. The PGE1/DGLA ratio was low in intermittent explosive disorder. The number of registered violent crimes and violent suicidal attempts correlated with high phospholipid DGLA values. The possibility that the high phospholipid DGLA is connected with low free DGLA pool, and therefore low PGE1 formation, among these offenders is discussed.
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