The Relationship between Aggression and Serum Thyroid Hormone Level in Individuals Diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder
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Introduction: Aggression is one of the leading clinical characteristics of antisocial personality disorder (APD). Studies aiming to clarify and control the biological basis of aggression are ongoing. Thyroid hormones have been indicated to play a role in the development of aggression. The aim of this study was to examine the level of aggression and serum thyroid hormone in a sample of APD and to make contributions to this field with the current findings. Methods: The sample consisted of 96 subjects with a diagnosis of APD and 97 subjects as a control group. Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis (SCID) 1 and 2 were used for the diagnosis, and the Buss–Perry Aggression Questionnaire was administered. Based on criminal patterns, the APD group was then divided into two subgroups: “criminal” and “noncriminal” APD groups. The day after the interview, after one night of fasting, blood was collected from the subjects between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.. Thyroid function tests and other biochemical analyses related to the confounding variables were also administered. The study group and the control group were compared in terms of their aggression scores and thyroid hormone levels. Results: The mean score of free T3 level in the criminal APD group was found to be significantly higher than that in the noncriminal APD group. APD subjects with higher free T3 levels also had higher aggression scores. In the noncriminal APD group, as serum free T3 and T4 levels increased, there was also an increment in the aggression scores. However, in the criminal APD group, there was no significant correlation between thyroid hormone levels and aggression. Conclusion: The findings of this study indicated that criminal and noncriminal APD groups actually show different properties.