Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 169–176

A case report of naltrexone treatment of self-injury and social withdrawal in autism

  • Anne S. Walters
  • Rowland P. Barrett
  • Carl Feinstein
  • Arthur Mercurio
  • William T. Hole
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF02284716

Cite this article as:
Walters, A.S., Barrett, R.P., Feinstein, C. et al. J Autism Dev Disord (1990) 20: 169. doi:10.1007/BF02284716

Abstract

The endogenous opiate release theory of self-injurious behavior (SIB) was investigated through double-blind placebo-controlled administration of naltrexone hydrochloride (Trexan ®) to a 14-year-old autistic and mentally retarded male for treatment of severe SIB. Results yielded a marked decrease in SIB during two phases of active drug treatment, though SIB did not revert to originally observed placebo levels during a second placebo phase. An increase in social relatedness also was observed during phases of active drug treatment. Opiate theories of self-injury and the possible interrelationship of self-injury with pituitary-adrenal arousal and with social relatedness are discussed.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne S. Walters
    • 1
  • Rowland P. Barrett
    • 1
  • Carl Feinstein
    • 1
  • Arthur Mercurio
    • 1
  • William T. Hole
    • 1
  1. 1.Emma Pendleton Bradley HospitalBrown University Program in MedicineUSA