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August 1956

The Effects of Reserpine on Schizophrenic Patients

Author Affiliations

Battle Creek, Mich.

From the Veterans Administration Hospital, Battle Creek, Mich.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1956;76(2):198-204. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1956.02330260084008

Considerable enthusiasm has been engendered in recent years by new drugs in the treatment of the mentally ill. Many clinical reports which have been published were glowing in their description of the effects on schizophrenic patients of such drugs as reserpine and chlorpromazine. The considerable agreement in many such evaluations is indeed cause for optimism; yet a historical review of the recent past reveals that many new treatment approaches have failed to live up to initial hopes. Such initial optimism is only justified if significant treatment effects are demonstrated in controlled studies, since it is possible that subjective factors involved in uncontrolled clinical evaluations may lead to unreliable findings.

The present investigation was undertaken to study the effectiveness of reserpine in the treatment of schizophrenic male patients within a controlled setting.

Method  One hundred seventy male schizophrenic patients were selected as subjects. Since it was desirable to obtain as wide