, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 55-64
Date: 31 May 2006

Efficacy Profiles of Psychopharmacology: Divalproex Sodium in Conduct Disorder

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Abstract

Little is known about how deeply medication treatment penetrates different levels of the mind/brain system. Psychopathology consists of relatively simple constructs (e.g., anger, irritability), or complex ones (e.g., responsibility). This study examines the efficacy of a specific compound, divalproex sodium (DVPX), on the various levels of psychopathology, utilizing a previous study in which 71 youth with conduct disorder were enrolled in a randomized controlled 7-week clinical trial. We examined weekly slopes of “emotional cognitions” of varying degrees of complexity obtained by Weinberger Adjustment Inventory (WAI), measuring more basic states, such as anger, depression, happiness and anxiety, and complex states, such as impulse control, consideration of others, responsibility and self-esteem. Intent-to-treat analyses showed significant associations between assignment to the active treatment and improvement in depression and impulse control. This is a rare clinical trial, which provides preliminary evidence for the different profiles of efficacy of medication treatment.

This research was supported by grants to Dr. Steiner by Abbott Pharmaceuticals, The California Wellness Foundation and by the California Youth Authority.