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Lithium reduced aggression and was safe in aggressive children and adolescents with conduct disorder admitted to hospital

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QUESTION: In children and adolescents in hospital with conduct disorder and frequent aggression, how effective and safe is lithium in reducing aggression?


Randomised (unclear allocation concealment*), blinded (patients and outcome assessors)*, placebo controlled trial with 4 weeks of treatment.


Acute care child and adolescent psychiatric inpatient service in a teaching hospital in the US.


40 inpatients (mean age 13 y, 83% boys) with a DSM-III-R diagnosis of conduct disorder. All patients were admitted to hospital with histories of severe aggression and met the aggression criterion during a 2 week placebo baseline period. Exclusion criteria were diagnosis of mental retardation, pervasive developmental disorder, major depressive disorder or dysthymic disorder, bipolar …

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