Platelet serotonin measures in adolescents with conduct disorder Academic Article uri icon


  • Dysregulation of serotonergic function has been associated with aggression in several studies involving children, adolescents, and adults. This study investigated the relationship of platelet serotonergic measures to conduct disorder type, severity of aggression, and social skills impairment. Standardized assessments of diagnosis, aggression, impulsivity, and social skills were obtained from 43 male adolescents (ages 13-17) incarcerated at an involuntary residential treatment facility for juvenile offenders. Blood samples were collected and assayed for whole blood serotonin (5-HT) and platelet [3H]-paroxetine-labeled 5-HT-transporter binding. Whole blood 5-HT was higher in adolescents with conduct disorder, childhood type than in subjects with conduct disorder, adolescent type. Whole blood 5-HT was positively correlated with violence rating of the current offense and total offense points, and staff ratings of social skills impairment. Our findings are consistent with a relationship between 5-HT dysregulation and aggressive behavior in incarcerated adolescent boys with conduct disorder, particularly of childhood onset.


  • Unis, Alan S
  • Cook, Edwin H
  • Vincent, Jennifer G
  • Gjerde, Diane K
  • Perry, Bruce D
  • Mason, Craig
  • Mitchell, Jeff

publication date

  • October 1997