Thyroid and Schizophrenia


In 1952 the standard treatment for schizophrenia was electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and sedative drugs. Insulin coma was slowly being replaced because it was too dangerous and needed too much medical and nursing services and skills. As Director of Psychiatric Research for the Province of Saskatchewan, I was given the mission of finding better treatment for these patients. In searching the literature I discovered that several psychiatrists had given their patients large doses of desiccated (natural) thyroid, using very large doses. I also found that histamine injections had been used and found to be effective. We found that histamine treatment used exactly as had been described by the authors was helpful, and out of twelve patients I treated eight were very much better, and a few showed dramatic improvement over a short period of time. This treatment was safe but was also time consuming. I did not pursue this any further because I had become interested in using large doses of niacin. I had also given a few of my patients large doses of thyroid, increasing the dose as had been described but watching for overdose by the pulse rate. I was amazed at how much thyroid my patients could tolerate and I did see improvement, but again I did not pursue this any further. I now think this was an error and this report will provide the clinical data which will suggest that thyroid treatment should be considered seriously for patients with schizophrenia who do not respond as quickly and as well as they ordinarily do on orthomolecular therapy without thyroid.

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Hoffer2006ThyroidAS, title={Thyroid and Schizophrenia}, author={Abram Hoffer}, year={2006} }