Effects of naloxone on schizophrenia: reduction in hallucinations in a subpopulation of subjects

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Science  07 Jul 1978:
Vol. 201, Issue 4350, pp. 73-76
DOI: 10.1126/science.351804


Endogenous opiate-like peptides (endorphins) are putative neuroregulators located throughout the mammalian brainstem. There is some evidence for their role in pain, stress, and affect. We report that the opiate antagonist, naloxone, alters some schizophrenic symptoms. In a double-blind, cross-over study, naloxone produced decreases in auditory hallucinations in some schizophrenic patients. This finding supports the hypothesis that the endorphins may play a roll in modulating hallucinations in a highly selected subgroup of chronically hallucinating schizophrenic patients.