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July 1956

Behavioral Evaluation of Chronic Mental Hospital Patients Treated with Reserpine

Author Affiliations

St. Peter, Minn.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1956;76(1):60-64. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1956.02330250062008

Introduction  Reserpine,* a pure crystalline alkaloid of Rauwolfia, has received considerable attention by psychiatrists during the past two years. Although initial clinical studies were designed to demonstrate its effectiveness in producing mild, sustained lowering of blood pressure, the literature now commonly reports the drug to have a tranquilizing effect on patients with psychoneurosis, as well as producing "marked improvement" in such mental diseases as schizophrenia, paranoia, manic status, and dementia paralytica and in some cases of depression.The enthusiasm with which many rechronic mental hospital patients has been noted. Hollister and associates1 report "unequivocal" improvement in 6 of 19 patients receiving 2 mg. of reserpine orally for 50 days. (The basis for evaluation is not clear.) Campden-Main and Wegielski2 report a definite "reserpine effect" at the end of an experimental period in which the oral dosage was as little as 3 mg. of reserpine per day. Behavioral changes

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