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Objective effects of dexamphetamine and amobarbital and their relations to psychasthenic personality traits

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Objective effects of 5 and 15 mg dexamphetamine and 150 and 300 mg amobarbital were studied in two groups of 22 military subjects, selected on the basis of extreme scores on a Psychasthenia scale. Blood pressure, pulse rate and performance on psychomotor, perceptual and cognitive tests were measured before, one hour and two hours after intake of capsules containing a drug dose or placebo. The drug conditions were rotated and the procedure was double-blind.

The general pattern of drug effects was as expected; improvement after dexamphetamine and impairment after amobarbital, when compared to placebo. This pattern was illustrated as reflecting an activation continuum, the lowest activation being noted on 300 mg amobarbital and the highest on 15 mg dexamphetamine.

Dexamphetamine gave few significant effects except for the cardiovascular measures. Significant effects were obtained after amobarbital in a number of tests.

The treatment-group interactions noted appeared to be related to a greater sensitivity to amobarbital in the High Psychasthenia group. More significant effects were obtained after amobarbital as compared to placebo in this group than in the Low Psychasthenia group, especially one hour after 300 mg amobarbital.

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Ideström, C.-., Schalling, D. Objective effects of dexamphetamine and amobarbital and their relations to psychasthenic personality traits. Psychopharmacologia 17, 399–413 (1970).

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  • Dexamphetamine
  • Amobarbital
  • Cardiovascular Measures
  • Psychological Tests
  • Personality
  • Psychasthenia