Vol. 3, No. 1 , 1997, Page 5


Howard Moss and Jeffrey Yao recently studied conduct-disordered, substance-abusing teenagers. The researchers measured the blood platelet responsiveness of the subjects (who were drug-free at the time of the study) to various agonists (substances that activate the platelets). Blood platelet functioning, the researchers note, can offer indirect clues about the functioning of neurons in the brain.

The researchers report that the platelet responses of conduct-disordered, substance-abusing boys differed from those of control youth across a range of agonists. The pattern of reduced responsiveness identified in the troubled teens, Moss and Yao say, suggests abnormalities in neuronal signal transduction in their brains.


"Platelet dense granule secretion in adolescents with conduct disorder and substance abuse: preliminary evidence for variation in signal transduction," Howard B. Moss and Jeffrey K. Yao, Biological Psychiatry, 40, 1996, pp. 892-898. Address: Howard B. Moss, Center for Education and Drug Abuse Research, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 3811 O'Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.

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