Neuroendocrine and neurochemical measurements in depression
The authors performed dexamethasone suppression tests (DST), TRH infusions, 72-hour urine collections, and lumbar punctures on a group of male depressed patients. Approximately 60% of the patients were DST positive and 33% had a blunted TSH response. Two biologic variables, the 8 a.m. postdexamethasone cortisol and the postprobenecid CSF 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), accounted for over half of the variance in the behavioral measure, the Hamilton score. Plasma cortisol elevation was associated with high 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenyl glycol (MHPG) excretion; TSH blunting was associated with low urinary MHPG excretion. Comprehensive biologic measures showed certain significant interrelationships and correlations with the severity of depression.