Jul 1, 1995

Serum dopamine beta hydroxylase and maltreatment in psychiatrically hospitalized boys

Child Abuse & Neglect
M R GalvinG Karwisch


Fifty boys, hospitalized on a school-age and an adolescent unit in an intermediate length psychiatric hospital, were studied while off psychoactive medication to determine how serum dopamine beta hydroxylase (DBH) activity varies with different childhood maltreatment experiences. Childhood maltreatment was categorized according to onset (before 36 months old, between 36-72 months old and over 72 months old). Childhood maltreatment groups were compared with a group of psychiatrically hospitalized boys who had neither been abused nor neglected. Boys who were younger than 72 months at age of onset of maltreatment had significantly lower DBH activity than those who had experienced maltreatment later in childhood and those who had not been subjected to abuse or neglect. This difference appeared attributable to the DBH activity of school age (but not adolescent) boys who had been abused/neglected before 72 months. Boys with a principal diagnosis of conduct disorder solitary aggressive type had lower DBH activity than boys without this diagnosis regardless of whether or not they had been maltreated. Low serum DBH may be a biological sequela of maltreatment early in life that correlates with the development of conduct disorder solitary...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Residential Treatment
Personality Development
Periodontal Cyst
Victim of Child Abuse
Child Behavior Disorders
Aggressive Behavior
Conduct Disorder

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