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Psychopharmacol Bull. 1994;30(2):215-8.

The Overt Aggression Scale in a study of lithium in aggressive conduct disorder.

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  • 1Hahnemann University, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health Sciences, Philadelphia, PA 19102.


This article describes an open study of lithium carbonate in conduct-disordered children. The objective of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of lithium in reducing aggression and the usefulness of the Overt Aggression Scale (OAS), as a measure of treatment effect. The subjects, 8 children, ages 9.2 to 16.9 years (mean +/- standard deviation [SD] = 12.48 +/- 2.97), were treated for 4 weeks with lithium. Optimal dosages ranged from 1200 to 1800 mg/day (mean = 1350 +/- 227) with corresponding serum lithium levels ranging from 0.86 to 1.39 mEq/L (mean = 1.05 +/- 0.17). OAS results indicated that aggression decreased significantly over time. The findings from the OAS agreed with findings from a more general measure, the Global Clinical Consensus Rating, leading to the conclusion that the OAS is a promising outcome measure for treatment studies of aggression in children. Further placebo-controlled studies of lithium carbonate in reducing aggressive behavior in conduct-disordered children, employing a specific measure such as the OAS, are warranted.

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