Plasma beta-endorphin levels, naltrexone, and haloperidol in autistic children

M. Ernst, L. Devi, R. R. Silva, N. M. Gonzalez, A. M. Small, R. P. Malone, M. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Plasma beta-endorphin levels were measured in 13 autistic children, aged 3.67 to 11.67 years at the end of treatment (naltrexone, haloperidol, pimozide, or placebo) and in 5 of the 13 children also at baseline. Baseline plasma beta-endorphin levels were lower than those reported in the literature. There was a strong correlation between plasma beta-endorphin levels and severity of sterotypies in all children. Naltrexone did not seem to have a specific effect on plasma beta-endorphin levels; short-term haloperidol treatment was associated with an increase, whereas long-term haloperidol treatment seemed to have a depressive effect on plasma beta- endorphin levels, which rose after withdrawal of haloperidol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-227
Number of pages7
JournalPsychopharmacology bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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