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July 1956

Effect of Reserpine and Open-Ward Privileges on Chronic Schizophrenics

Author Affiliations

St. Cloud, Minn.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1956;76(1):42-49. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1956.02330250044006

Reserpine has been described as having a calming or tranquilizing effect on subjects and as exerting its hypotensive and sedative effects through action on the hypothalamus. Plummer7 stated that probably the most likely region at which reserpine could produce changes in autonomic balance would be "an area of the central nervous system, such as the hypothalamus, where autonomic nervous functions are integrated.... All observed effects of reserpine, including sedation, reduced emotional response, peripheral autonomic alterations, and circulatory changes, are explicable on the basis of an alteration of sympathetic-parasympathetic balance by partial suppression of sympathetic predominance at the hypothalamic level." Adler1 reported in his study that there is a reduction in hyperactivity, assaultiveness, apprehension, anxiety, and depression. Although he noted that patients varied in response to the drug, there was an obvious decrease in anxiety. Similar improvement was noted by Barsa,2 who selected patients on the basis of

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