Neuroendocrinological Profile of Major Depression
Postulates of endocrine involvement in the pathophysiology of mental disorders date back to the beginning of the century (Bleuler, 1954). However, it is only in the pasts few years, with the advancement of biochemical techniques for accurately measuring hormonal blood levels, that such an involvement could reliably be tested. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) hyperactivity has been proposed to the most prominent and most specific biological marker of endogenous depression (Carroll, 1980). In fact, it has been reported that about half of the patients suffering from major depression fail to suppress Cortisol secretion following dexamethasone administration (Carroll, 1982). Other studies in which the TSH response to TRH is used have indicated an abnormality of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis in patients with this type of affective disorders (Loosen and Prange, 1980; Gold et al, 1981). Recently additional provocative tests like clinidine, apomorphine and insulin tolerance were used to evaluate other hormonal systems in depression.
KeywordsAffective Disorder Dexamethasone Suppression Test Endogenous Depression Cortisol Suppression Schizophreniform Disorder
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Bleuler, M., 1954, “Endokrinologische Psychiatrie”, Georg Thieme, Stuttgart.Google Scholar
- Brambilla, F., Smeraldi, E., Bellodi, L., Sacchetti, E. and Mueller, E., 1980, Neuroendocrine correlates and monoaminergic hypothesis in primary affective disorder, in: “Progress in Psychoneuroendocrinology”, Brambilla, F., Racagni, G.,de Wied, D., eds., Elsevier/North Holland Biomedical Press, New York.Google Scholar
- Carroll, B.J., Sehroeder, K., Mukhopadhyay, S., Greden, J.F., Fenberg, M., Ritche, J. and Tarika, J., 1980, Plasma dexamethasone concentrations and Cortisol suppression response in patients with endogenous depression, J.CEM, 51:433Google Scholar
- Chan, J.S.D., Seidah, N.G. and Chretien, M., 1983, Measurements of N-POMC in human plasma, J.CEM., 56:791Google Scholar
- Coryell, W., Gaffney, G. and Burkhart, P.E., 1982, The dexamethasone suppression test and familial subtypes of deppression — a naturalistic replication, 1982; Biol. Psych., 17:33Google Scholar
- Holsboer, F., Klein, H., Bender, W., et al., 1980, Hypothalamic- pituitary-adrenal activity in a group of 100 heterogenic patients: Diagnostic validity and biochemical aspects of the Cortisol response to dexamethasone suppression, in: “Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology”, A. Carlson, J. Engel, G.G. Gottfries, et al., eds., Pergamon Press, New York.Google Scholar
- Krieger, D.T., and Aschoff, J., 1979, Endocrine and other biological rhythms, in: “Endocrinology”, L. J. DeGroot, G.F. Cahill, W.D. Odell, L. Martini, D. H. Nelson, J.T. Potts, E. Steinberger and A. Winegrad, eds., Grune and Stratton, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Sachar, E.J., 1975, Neuroendocrine Abnormalities in depressive illness, in: “Topics in Psychoendocrinology”, E.J. Sachar, ed., Grune and Stratton, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Schulman, R., and Diewold, P., 1977, A two dose dexamethasone suppression test in patients with psychiatric illness, Can. Psych. Ass. J., 22Google Scholar
- Tosca, P., Fenoglio, L., Zerbi, F., Romani, A., Bezzi, G., Ferrari, E., Canepari, C., 1982, Neuroendocrinological spects of depression and symptomatological picture, Psychiat. Clin., 15:153Google Scholar