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Long-Term Lithium Treatment for Aggressive Conduct Disorder

This study has been completed.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Information provided by:
Drexel University Identifier:
First received: November 2, 1999
Last updated: November 25, 2013
Last verified: November 2013
This study will examine the long-term effects of lithium used to treat children and adolescents with aggressive conduct disorder (severe aggression).

Condition Intervention Phase
Conduct Disorder
Drug: Lithium
Drug: Placebo
Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Long-Term Lithium for Aggressive Conduct Disorder

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Drexel University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Overt Aggression Scale-Modified [ Time Frame: Weekly in short term phase, Monthly in long-term phase ]
  • Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement Item [ Time Frame: Weekly in short term phase, Monthly in long-term phase ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Children's Psychiatric Rating Scale-Selected Items [ Time Frame: Weekly in short term phase, Monthly in long-term phase ]
  • IOWA [ Time Frame: Weekly in short term phase, Monthly in long-term phase ]
  • DOTES [ Time Frame: Weekly in short term phase, Monthly in long-term phase ]
  • TESS [ Time Frame: Weekly in short term phase, Monthly in long-term phase ]

Enrollment: 59
Study Start Date: September 1997
Study Completion Date: June 2005
Primary Completion Date: December 2003 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: 1
Lithium 600 mg to 2700 mg per day
Drug: Lithium
Lithium 600 mg to 2700 mg per day
Placebo Comparator: 2
Matching placebo
Drug: Placebo
Matching placebo

Detailed Description:

Psychotherapeutic agents are often administered without sufficient testing to children and adolescents, often on a long-term basis, to reduce aggression. Many pressures, including managed care, will increase the utilization of pharmacotherapy in the outpatient setting to treat serious problems. Lithium is the most promising agent for the treatment of aggression in children and adolescents. However, it has not been shown that lithium is an effective treatment for these patients in the outpatient (non-hospital) setting, or on a long-term basis. The purpose of this study is to examine the long-term effects of lithium used to treat children and adolescents with aggressive conduct disorder (severe aggression).

The proposed study is a two-phased clinical trial of lithium for the treatment of aggression in conduct disorder. Both phases are double-blind and placebo-controlled with randomization and employ a parallel groups design. Phase 1 contains a short-term 8-week controlled trial, with twice as many subjects randomized to lithium as placebo, increasing the pool of potential lithium responders to continue to Phase 2. In Phase 2, lithium responders from Phase 1 enter a 6-month long-term controlled trial. Every attempt is made to define responders to lithium.


Ages Eligible for Study:   9 Years to 17 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Males and females
  2. Ages between 9 and 17 years.
  3. Conduct disorder according to DSM-IV (As rated on the DICA-IV).
  4. The aggression criterion at screening

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Mental Retardation.
  2. Pervasive Developmental Disorder(s).
  3. Major Depressive Disorder or Dysthymic Disorder.
  4. Bipolar Disorder.
  5. Psychotic Disorder (including Schizophreniform Disorder and Schizophrenia).
  6. Major medical problem such as cardiac, renal, and thyroid diseases, or seizure disorder.
  7. History of psychoactive medication in the previous 2 weeks.
  8. Current Pregnancy in females.
  9. History of Substance Dependence in the past month.
  10. Prior to the proposed study, a history of lithium treatment with serum lithium levels of 0.4 mEq/L or higher for a cumulative period of greater than 10 days.
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00000385

United States, Pennsylvania
Drexel University College of Medicine at Friends Hospital
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19124
Sponsors and Collaborators
Drexel University
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Principal Investigator: Richard P. Malone, MD Drexel University College of Medicine
  More Information

Responsible Party: Richard P. Malone, MD, Drexel University College of Medicine Identifier: NCT00000385     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R29MH057093 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: November 2, 1999
Last Updated: November 25, 2013

Keywords provided by Drexel University:
Aggressive conduct disorder
Conduct Disorder
Conduct Disorder -- *drug therapy
Lithium -- *therapeutic use

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Conduct Disorder
Pathologic Processes
Behavioral Symptoms
Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders
Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Mental Disorders
Lithium Carbonate
Antidepressive Agents
Psychotropic Drugs
Enzyme Inhibitors
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Antimanic Agents
Tranquilizing Agents
Central Nervous System Depressants
Physiological Effects of Drugs processed this record on April 28, 2017