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J Autism Dev Disord. 1990 Jun;20(2):169-76.

A case report of naltrexone treatment of self-injury and social withdrawal in autism.

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Brown University Program in Medicine, Emma Pendleton Bradley Hospital, East Providence, Rhode Island 02915.


The endogenous opiate release theory of self-injurious behavior (SIB) was investigated through double-blind placebo-controlled administration of naltrexone hydrochloride (Trexan) to a 14-year-old autistic and mentally retarded male for treatment of severe SIB. Results yielded a marked decrease in SIB during two phases of active drug treatment, though SIB did not revert to originally observed placebo levels during a second placebo phase. An increase in social relatedness also was observed during phases of active drug treatment. Opiate theories of self-injury and the possible interrelationship of self-injury with pituitary-adrenal arousal and with social relatedness are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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