Effect of (des-tyr)-gamma-endorphin in schizophrenia

Herbert Y. Meltzer*, Daniel A. Busch, Betty Jo Tricou, Alan Robertson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Des-tyrosine-γ-endorphin (DTγE), a derivative of γ-endorphin, which has been reported to have some neuroleptic-like properties in man, was administered to eight hospitalized schizophrenic patients (six chronic, one subacute, one acute) in an open study. Following an initial drug-free period, patients were given DTγE for 12 days in doses ranging from 1 to 10 mg/day. Two of the patients were markedly improved after receiving DTγE. The improvement was sustained for 2 months in one subject, while the other deteriorated to pretreatment status within 48 hours of the discontinuation of DTγE. Of the other six patients, one showed moderate improvement, three showed minimal improvement, and two showed no change. Improvement was mainly in the area of social functioning; change in positive psychotic symptoms was less noticeable. The positive results obtained in this study in some subjects could have been nonspecific effects, rather than pharmacological action, since social functioning, the main area of improvement, may be especially sensitive to expectancy effects in open trials. Nevertheless, further study of DTγE in acute schizophrenics for longer periods appears indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-326
Number of pages14
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1982


  • Des-tyrosine-γ-endorphin (DTγE), neuroleptic, schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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