, Volume 58, Issue 2, pp 189–195 | Cite as

Acute psychologic and neuroendocrine effects of dextroamphetamine and methylphenidate

  • Walter Armin Brown
  • Donald P. Corriveau
  • Michael H. Ebert


These studies examine the interface between central neurochemical events, psychologic state, and neuroendocrine activity. Fifty-nine healthy young men received dextroamphetamine (10 or 20 mg), methylphenidate (10 or 20 mg), or placebo. Psychologic state and serum concentrations of growth hormone, cortisol, and amphetamine were monitored for 2 h following drug ingestion.

There was considerable variance in both the endocrine and psychologic responses to these drugs. In general, both dextroamphetamine (20 mg) and methylphenidate (20 mg) stimulated growth hormone release, while only dextroamphetamine stimulated cortisol release. The variance in psychologic response precluded statistically significant differences among the drug groups; however, dextroamphetamine and methylphenidate appeared about equally effective in eliciting euphoria. Growth hormone response following these drugs correlated selectively with increases in euphoria, while cortisol response correlated somewhat selectively with increases in arousal. Serum amphetamine concentration correlated only with degree of growth hormone response and degree of elation.

These findings suggest that a common or linked central mechanism underlies both the growth hormone response and euphoria elicited by these drugs, and that a different mechanism underlies the cortisol and arousal responses. More importantly, these findings suggest another way in which psychopharmacologic agents can be used to elucidate the neurophysiology of both pathologic and normative psychologic states.

Key words

Dextroamphetamine Methylphenidate Growth hormone Cortisol Euphoria Arousal 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter Armin Brown
    • 1
    • 2
  • Donald P. Corriveau
    • 1
  • Michael H. Ebert
    • 3
  1. 1.Neuroendocrine Research LaboratoryVA HospitalProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, Brown University Program in MedicineBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.Section on Experimental Therapeutics, Laboratory of Clinical ScienceNational Institute of Mental HealthBethesdaUSA

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