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May 1961

Pineal Extract and Chronic Schizophrenic Behavior

Author Affiliations

Senior Hospital Medical Officer, Graylingwell Hospital (Dr. McBryde); Medical Research Council, Clinical Psychiatry Research Unit, Graylingwell Hospital (Mr. Knowles and Dr. Lucas—now Director, Student Health Association, University College London).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;4(5):494-500. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710110064008

The observation that the blood glutathione was low in psychotic patients (Altschule et al., 1952) and that pineal extract injections raised the level of blood glutathione, led to the treatment of manic-depressive and schizophrenic psychoses with the extract.

Altschule (1957) described remission of chronic schizophrenia following the administration of a protein-containing extract of pineal gland. This remission was associated with an elevation of blood glutathione, a reduction in ketosteroid output, and an elevation in the eosinophil counts. However, patients soon showed clinical and biochemical relapse despite continued injections. This was irreversible in those receiving injections for a month or more. Altschule subsequently developed a protein-free alkaline extract of beef pineal gland which he reported produced a similar clinical remission with the associated biochemical changes, without the development of refractoriness. Altschule stated that neither type of extract produced local or general allergic responses when

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