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A Search for Responders to Niacin Supplementation

J. Richard Wittenborn, PhD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;31(4):547-552. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760160087018.
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We previously reported an unsuccessful attempt to establish an advantage for schizophrenic patients treated with daily supplementation of niacin. The niacin hypothesis remains unconfirmed by independent controlled inquiry. We explored our original data to identify characteristics distinguishing patients who responded well in the niacin supplementation group from good responders in the controls.

The good responders in the niacin group showed a premorbid history with relatively strong interpersonally oriented commitments; the good responders in the controls did not. Perhaps patients with dissociative psychosis and a history of interpersonal participation may respond well with high-dosage niacin as supplementary to other medication and treatment. This hypothesis is based on post hoc findings not yet submitted to cross-validating scrutiny. Unless these findings are confirmed, they should not be accepted as a practical guide in the treatment of patients.


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