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January 1987

Growth Hormone Response to Apomorphine

Author Affiliations

Medical Research Council Neuroendocrinology Unit Newcastle Upon Tyne NE4 6BE England
Clinical Research Centre Harrow, Middlesex HAI 3UJ England

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1987;44(1):93. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1987.01800130105013

To the Editor.—  Several studies have demonstrated a wide scatter of growth hormone response to the dopamine agonist apomorphine in patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.1-4 Recently, Whalley et al5 reported that psychotic patients with Schneider's first-rank symptoms had a significantly greater growth hormone response to apomorphine than did those patients without such symptoms. However, our own study5 suggests that within the schizophrenic population the presence of first-rank symptoms is unlikely to be the factor that accounts for variation in this response.We studied 15 male patients not taking medication who had acute schizophrenia. The symptoms were less than one month old when the patients were tested. All of the patients had at least one nuclear symptom as assessed by the Present State Examination6; in practice (as discussed by Whalley et al5) this is equivalent to the presence of Schneider's first-rank symptoms. The growth hormone