September 1961

Adrenocortical Activity in Psychiatric Disorders

Author Affiliations

From the Veterans Administration Center, Neuropsychiatric Hospital, and The Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California Medical Center, Los Angeles.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;5(3):227-233. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710150009002

Introduction Whether there is or is not an altered adrenocortical activity in schizophrenic patients has been a subject of controversy for many years. Many attempts have been made to demonstrate a difference in adrenocortical activity between schizophrenic and normal subjects. Over a number of years, Pincus and Hoagland1-5 have obtained evidence which suggested to them that there is an altered adrenocortical activity in schizophrenia. Their evidence, based on a total response index composed of weighted urinary parameters—17-ketosteroids, neutral reducing lipids, uric acid, potassium, sodium, and inorganic phosphate—suggests that schizophrenic subjects exhibit a decreased adrenal responsivity to experimental stress. It has been observed by these workers, on the other hand, that chronic schizophrenic patients not subjected to special stresses show little difference in their adrenocortical secretion from that of normal controls.

Introduction However, all investigators have not observed decreased adrenocortical responsivity in schizophrenics.

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