Library of the History of Autism Research, Behaviorism & Psychiatry

LSD-25 Helps Schizophrenic Children

American Druggist, 146 (13):33, 1962

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Drug improves behavior patterns in preliminary tests; UML-491 also found effective

A powerful serotonin-inhibiting drug, known by the code name LSD-25, has shown beneficial results in a group of schizophrenic children in preliminary tests.

Drs. Lauretta Bender, Lothar Goldschmidt, and D. V. Siva Sankar, of Creedmoor State Hospital, Queens, N.Y., report in Recent Advances in Biological Psychiatry that they used the drug on 14 withdrawn schizophrenic children under the age of 11. The 2 oldest boys, over 10 years old and at or near puberty, reacted with disturbed anxious behavior and were dropped from the study.

The 12 other children showed improved behavioral patterns when the drug was administered intramuscularly and orally. the doctors report. The disturbed youngsters appeared to be in an elevated or "high" mood following administration of LSD-25. They were gay and playful and accepted contact with an adult in their tentative. teasing. playful activities. which included ball playing, paper tearing. motor play, rhythmic hand clapping. and body swaying. The physicians further note that the children appeared flushed and bright eyed, and unusually interested in their environment.

According to the researchers, the might of the reaction to LSD occurred about a half hour after administration of the drug and persisted for 2 or 3 hours.

Oral Dose: After several experiments in which the drug showed these results on an intramuscular dosage of 25 mg. the physicians switched to oral administration and increased the dosage to 100 mg once a week early in the morning. Then the dosage was gradually increased to twice or three times a week as no untoward side effects were noticed. and the favorable reaction to the drug persisted. Finally, the drug was given daily and was continued for about 6 weeks.

The physicians conclude from the experiment that:

  • LSD-25 produced some mild degree of favorable response with slow and steady progression in the severely disturbed children.
  • The drug did not produce any severe side effects, toxicity, or untoward responses.
  • The children were generally happier; their mood was "high" in the hours following ingestion of the drug.
  • The drug reduced the children's former hostility.
  • Physical condition of the children tended to improve.

UML-491: The physicians also report later experiments along the same lines with a methylated derivative of LSD, known by the code name UML-491.

Preliminary experiments with 8 withdrawn schizophrenic children, given 8 mg of UML-491 in 4 divided doses daily, showed somewhat similar results to those which had previously been obtained with LSD.

The 3 researchers note that both LSD and UML. which are derivatives of dilysergic acid, have thus far been used only experimentally in schizophrenic children in the hope that more effective therapeutic derivatives will be discovered in the future.

Both drugs were supplied by Sandoz, which also stresses the preliminary nature of the experiments, pointing out that many more studies will have to be made before these drugs can be accepted for large-scale use in schizophrenic children.
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