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Diagnosis and Treatment of Minimal Brain Dysfunction in Adults:  A Preliminary Report

David R. Wood, MD; Frederick W. Reimherr, MD; Paul H. Wender, MD; Glen E. Johnson, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1976;33(12):1453-1460. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1976.01770120057005.
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• Minimal brain dysfunction (MBD) has long been considered a disorder limited to childhood. A number of longitudinal and adoption studies suggest that MBD may persist into adult life where its existence is concealed by the application of a variety of diagnostic labels. In order to test the hypothesis that MBD does persist into adulthood, 15 putative MBD adults were identified on the basis of current MBD-like complaints, self-description of MBD characteristics in childhood, and a parental rating (on a standardized form) of "hyperactivity" in childhood. Eleven of the 15 subjects were given a double-blind trial of methylphenidate hydrochloride, and all 15 were given an open trial of pemoline, imipramine hydrochloride, or amitryptiline hydrochloride. Eight of the 11 showed a significant response to the double-blind trial of methylphenidate. Of the 15, eight showed a good response to stimulants or tricyclic antidepressants, two showed a moderately favorable response, and five were unresponsive to drug therapy.


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