ORIGINAL ARTICLE N-Acetylcysteine, a Glutamate Modulator, in the Treatment of Trichotillomania A Double-blind, Placebo-Controlled Study Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH; Brian L. Odlaug, BA; Suck Won Kim, MD Context: Trichotillomania is characterized by repeti- ined using analysis of variance modeling analyses and lin- tive hair pulling that causes noticeable hair loss. Data on ear regression in an intention-to-treat population. the pharmacologic treatment of trichotillomania are lim- ited to conflicting studies of serotonergic medications. Results: Patients assigned to receive N-acetylcysteine had N-acetylcysteine, an amino acid, seems to restore the ex- significantly greater reductions in hair-pulling symp- tracellular glutamate concentration in the nucleus ac- toms as measured using the Massachusetts General Hos- cumbens and, therefore, offers promise in the reduction pital Hair Pulling Scale (P .001) and the Psychiatric In- of compulsive behavior. stitute Trichotillomania Scale (P = .001). Fifty-six percent of patients “much or very much improved” with N- Objective: To determine the efficacy and tolerability of acetylcysteine use compared with 16% taking placebo N-acetylcysteine in adults with trichotillomania. (P = .003). Significant improvement was initially noted after 9 weeks of treatment. Design : Twelve-week, double-blind, placebo- controlled trial. Conclusions: This study, the first to our knowledge that examines
JAMA Psychiatry – American Medical Association
Published: Jul 1, 2009
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