Ayd, who advanced thorazine use, dies

March 24, 2008

Dr. Frank Ayd Jr., a pioneer in the field of psychopharmacology, has died in Baltimore from complications of coronary artery disease at age 87.

Ayd, who died Monday, was a psychiatrist who studied his patients' responses to anti-psychotic and anti-depressant drugs, leading to influential clinical results, The New York Times reported.

In 1955, he reported to the American Psychiatric Association that using two anti-psychotic drugs -- chlorpromazine, better known as Thorazine and reserpine -- to treat schizophrenia usually meant patients could be treated in a general hospital or nursing home.

Ayd began giving Thorazine to delusional patients in 1952.

"He was one of the founding fathers of psychopharmacology in this country," Dr. Robert Findling, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University, told the Times Thursday. "He was there at its inception as a scientific area of focused research."

His "Ayd's Lexicon of Psychiatry, Neurology and the Neurosciences" is a standard reference in the field, the Times said.

He helped start the Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacology and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and founded what became Psychopharm Review.

Ayd is survived by his wife, five sons, seven daughters, two sisters, a brother, 32 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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