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, 41 (6), 488-92

CSF Testosterone: Relationship to Aggression, Impulsivity, and Venturesomeness in Adult Males With Personality Disorder

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CSF Testosterone: Relationship to Aggression, Impulsivity, and Venturesomeness in Adult Males With Personality Disorder

Emil F Coccaro et al. J Psychiatr Res.

Abstract

Objective: Studies of various species suggest that testosterone, assayed in various compartments, is correlated with aggression and possibly related behaviors. The objective of this study was to assess the relationship between cerebrospinal fluid testosterone (CSF TEST) and measures of aggression, impulsivity, and venturesomeness in male personality disordered subjects and test the hypothesis that CSF TEST would correlate directly with each measure in this group.

Methods: Lumbar CSF for morning basal levels of testosterone were obtained from 31 male subjects with personality disorder. Aggression was assessed dimensionally through the use of the life history of aggression (LHA) assessment, and categorically by the research diagnosis of intermittent explosive disorder. Impulsiveness and venturesomeness were assessed using the Eysenck personality questionnaire - II (EPQ-II).

Results: CSF TEST did not correlate with measures of aggression or impulsivity but did correlate directly with venturesomeness (r = .42, p = .021). Adjusting for age and height modestly reduced the magnitude and statistical significance of this correlation.

Conclusions: In contrast to some published studies, CSF TEST was not found to have a significant relationship with aggression. The presence of a modest correlation between CSF TEST and venturesomeness, but not impulsivity, in male personality-disordered subjects suggests a possible relationship between CSF TEST and a type of sensation-seeking that involves consideration of the consequences of action taken.

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