1. The metabolic responses to an oral glucose tolerance test (100 g) and an intravenous insulin provocation test (0·1 i.u./kg) were studied in nine control subjects and nine patients with Huntington's chorea.
2. Plasma glucose responses to these stimuli were identical in both groups.
3. High fasting concentrations of non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) were recorded in the choreic patients when compared with control subjects. This difference was maintained under hypoglycaemic conditions. However, during hyperglycaemia the differences in NEFA concentrations between the groups was abolished.
4. Total plasma tryptophan concentrations were equal in the two groups. Free plasma tryptophan, however, was markedly reduced in the choreic group, and this appeared to be a result of a disturbed relationship between free tryptophan and NEFA concentrations. The abnormalities in free tryptophan values were sensitive to plasma glucose concentrations, as hyperglycaemic conditions markedly reduced the differences between the choreic and control group.
5. Patients with Huntington's chorea showed reduced fasting plasma concentrations of leucine, isoleucine and valine.