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July 1984

Cognitive Effects of Lithium Carbonate and Haloperidol in Treatment-Resistant Aggressive Children

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, New York University Medical Center.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(7):657-662. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790180027003

• The effects of lithium carbonate and haloperidol on cognition were examined in a placebo-controlled, double-blind study of 61 treatment-resistant, hospitalized school-aged children. They all had a DSM-III diagnosis of conduct disorder— undersocialized, aggressive, with a profile of highly explosive and aggressive behavior. Children were assessed at the end of a two-week placebo-baseline period and again after four weeks of treatment. Drug effects on cognition were mild. Haloperidol (mean dose, 2.95 mg/day) caused significant decreases in Porteus Maze test quotient scores and a slowing of reaction time (RT) on a simple RT task. Lithium carbonate (mean dose, 1,166 mg/day) adversely affected qualitative scores on the Porteus Maze test. No significant treatment effects were found for the Matching Familiar Figures Test, short-term recognition memory and concept attainment tasks, or the Stroop Test.