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Blunted Prolactin Responses to d-Fenfluramine in Sociopathy

Evidence for Subsensitivity of Central Serotonergic Function

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Veronica O'Keane
Psychiatric Unit, St James's Hospital, Dublin 8
Eamonn Moloney
Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum, Dublin 14
Helen O'Neill
Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum, Dublin 14
Art O'Connor
Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum, Dublin 14
Charles Smith
Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum, Dublin 14
Timothy G. Dinan*
Trinity College Medical School, St James's Hospital, Dublin 8, Republic of Ireland
Psychiatric Unit, St James's Hospital, Dublin 8, Republic of Ireland


Using a neuroendocrine probe we studied nine male’ offenders in a forensic hospital, convicted of murder, with a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder, who had been behaviourally ‘quiescent’ for varying periods and who had not recently been abusing drugs. Nine healthy age-matched men also participated. All subjects received 30 mg d-fenfluramine (d-FEN), a 5–HT releasing agent, orally, after an overnight fast, and serial samples for prolactin estimation were taken hourly for five hours. Responses were significantly impaired in the patients, suggesting a subsensitivity of certain 5–HT systems in antisocial personality disorder, regardless of recent or ongoing behavioural disturbance.

Copyright © The Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1992 

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