DMITRIEVA, T. N., OADES, R. D., HAUFFA, B. P. & EGGERS, C., (2001). Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S) and corticotropin levels are high in young male patients with conduct disorder: comparisons for growth factors, thyroid and gonadal hormones . Neuropsychobiology, 43, 134-140. - ( request a copy).

In accord with our understanding of journal policy, we present the pre-publication text (view).
The original publication (cited above: DOI: 10.1159/000054881) is available at

Introduction: The biological concomitants of childhood conduct disorder (CD) have seldom been considered separate from those of hyperkinesis with which CD is often comorbid. CD predicts an increased likelihood of developing a personality disorder and is often associated with an antisocial outcome. Childhood CD may originate in a stressful upbringing in a dysfunctional family environment, and has been reported to be associated with unusual physical or sexual development and thyroid dysfunction.

Methods: We therefore explored circulating levels of hormones from adrenal, gonadal and growth-hormone axes associated with stress, aggression and development in 28 CD patients and 13 age-matched healthy children (10-18 years old).

Figure 1Results:
1/ The CD group had higher levels of dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S) and corticotropin (ACTH) and for those under 14 years of age there was more free triiodothyronine (fT3) in the circulation (figure 1).
Figure 12/ There were no differences for gonadal hormones, and neither the levels of steroid hormones nor the ratings of maturity (early/late) were associated with aggression, as has been reported elsewhere. 3/ Smaller physical measures in CD children correlated with DHEA-S and growth factors (e.g. IGF-I): 4/ increased ACTH and fT3 correlated with restless-impulsive ratings, and DHEA-S with 'disruptive behaviour' (figure 2).

Conclusions: Imbalances in the adrenal and growth axes may indeed have neurotrophic repercussions in growth and development.

(cf. Oades & Schepker, 1994 who showed higher levels of DHEA-S in adolescent males with schizophrenia :

see also review on the influence of pituitary-adrenal and gonadal hormones on attention in Oades 1979. )
[ Earlier animal work on the role of testosterone in 'persistence' in Oades 1978; and Oades and Messent 1981 ]