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Relationship between 5-HT function and impulsivity and aggression in male offenders with personality disorders

  • M. Dolan (a1), I. M. Anderson (a2) and J. F. W. Deakin (a2)
Abstract
Background

Reduced serotonergic (5-HT) function and elevated testosterone have been reported in aggressive populations.

Aims

To investigate relationships between impulsivity, aggression, 5-HT function and testosterone in male offenders with personality disorders.

Method

Sixty male offenders with DSM–III–R personality disorders and 27 healthy staff controls were assessed using the Special Hospital Assessment of Personality and Socialisation (SHAPS), impulsivity and aggression ratings, d-fenfluramine challenge and plasma hormone concentrations.

Results

The SHAPS non-psychopaths and those with schizoid personality disorders had enhanced 5-HT function (prolactin response to d-fenfluramine). Reduced 5-HT function was found in offenders with DSM–III–R borderline personality disorders and those with a history of repeated self-harm or alcohol misuse. The 5-HT function was inversely correlated more strongly with impulsivity than with aggression. Plasma testosterone correlated positively with aggressive acts. The SHAPS primary psychopaths had lower initial cortisol and higher testosterone concentrations than controls.

Conclusions

Future studies are needed to investigate regional brain 5-HT function.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr M. Dolan, Edenfield Centre, MHSS, Bury New Road, Prestwich, Manchester M25 3BL, UK
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

Funded by a Wellcome Trust Training Fellowship to M.D.

Footnotes
References
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Relationship between 5-HT function and impulsivity and aggression in male offenders with personality disorders

  • M. Dolan (a1), I. M. Anderson (a2) and J. F. W. Deakin (a2)
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