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June 5, 1967

Diphosphopyridine Nucleotide in the Treatment of Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

From the Research Facility, Rockland State Hospital, Orangeburg, NY (Drs. Kline and Esser). Dr. Barclay is now at the Department of Mental Hygiene, Albany, NY; Dr. Cole is at the Psychopharmacology Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md; Dr. Lehmann is at Douglas Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, and Dr. Wittenborn is at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.

JAMA. 1967;200(10):881-882. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120230133021

On the spring of last year, diphosphopyridine nucleotide (DPN or NAD, coenzyme I of the cellular oxidation-reduction systems) was claimed to be effective in short-term treatment of schizophrenia.1 This method of treatment was based on the results of studies showing the purported beneficial effect of long-term administration of niacin (nicotinic acid, a constituent of the vitamin B complex) or its derivative niacinamide in schizophrenia.2,3 Since niacinamide is an integral part of the coenzyme, it was suggested that these therapeutic effects were exerted by diphosphopyridine nucleotide and could readily be elicited by administering 1 to 2 gm of this preparation orally; 75% of the treated cases were said to show undeniable improvement five to seven days after the beginning of treatment.1

Our evaluation of diphosphopyridine for the treatment of patients with chronic schizophrenia who were residing in our research ward will be reported in full in a speciality