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Neuropsychobiology. 1977;3(2-3):160-6.

Pituitary-gonadal function in heroin addicts.


The present study deals with pituitary-gonadal function in male heroin addicts, 6 patients with schizophrenia and 31 with mild personality disorders. We examined the serum follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone levels at the moment of hospitalization (at the maximum of heroin addiction), and 48 h and 10 days later. FSH levels were definitely reduced in all the patients and did not change during the period of heroin withdrawal. The LH levels were reduced to a lesser extent, but significantly, and did not change after 10 days of abstinence from the drug. Testosterone levels were very low and increased in the schizophrenics during withdrawal, but not in the other addicts. The possible influence of heroin addiction on catecholamine metabolism in the central nervous system and, therefore, on the hypothalamic releasing factor and pituitary gonadotrophins, and the peripheral effect on testicular function are discussed.

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