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NCJ Number: 115246 Find in a Library
Title: Toward a Rational Pharmacotherapy for Aggressive and Violent Behavior
Journal: Hospital and Community Psychiatry  Volume:39  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1988)  Pages:31-39
Author(s): B Eichelman
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 9
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A substantial body of research in both humans and animals demonstrates that pharmacologic modulation of three neurotransmitter systems and electrical stimulation of brain regions can produce marked alterations in violent and aggressive behaviors.
Abstract: These systems include the gamma aminobutyric acid (GABAergic), the noradrenergic, and the serotonergic systems and a neurophysiological system concerned with electrical patterns in the brain, particularly those associated with electrical kindling and epilepsy. Case reports illustrate how this experimental literature has been applied in the development or rational pharmacotherapy for violent patients. Four basic principles of clinical applications that can enhance trials of pharmacologic treatments are identified. These include treating the primary illness, using the most benign interventions when beginning empirical treatment, having quantifiable means of assessing efficacy, and instituting drug trials systematically. Systematic application of research data in accordance with principles of good clinical care will improve the quality of life and increase the freedom of the violent patient. Once the patient has been stabilized through pharmacological interventions, behavioral and social learning approaches to the treatment of violence are likely to be more effective. 100 references. (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Violence causes
Index Term(s): Aggression; Behavior modification; Biological influences; Psychiatric services
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