Response to triiodothyronine and dextroamphetamine: A study of preschool schizophrenic children

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Abstract

A controlled study of triiodothyronine (T3), a hormone with CNS effects and stimulating properties, is reported in detail and discussed. Twelve of the 16 subjects (13 boys and 3 girls ranging in age from 3 to 6 years) were psychotic (10 schizophrenic and 2 autistic), 2 had chronic organic brain syndromes (Turner's and Klinefelter's, both with withdrawing reaction) and 2 were nonpsychotic (withdrawing and hyperkinetic reactions). Optimal daily doses of T3 ranged from 12.5 to 75 mcg, while those of dextroamphetamine, used as control, from 1.25 to 10 mg. Nonblind evaluations indicated marked improvement on T3 in 11 children, slight in 3, and deterioration in one. Blind ratings indicated statistically significant improvement in overall symptomatology (p⩽0.01). While dextroamphetamine yielded poor responses in all diagnostic categories, T3 had antipsychotic and stimulating effects. T3 is viewed as an agent that is potentially effective in the treatment of childhood schizophrenia.

This study was supported in part by Public Health Service Grant MH-04665 from the National Institute of Mental Health and in part by a grant from the Harriett Ames Charitable Trust.