Post-dexamethasone cortisol correlates with severity of depression before and during carbamazepine treatment in women but not men

Elizabeth A. Osuch, Gabriela Cora-Locatelli, Mark A. Frye, Teresa Huggins, Timothy A. Kimbrell, Terence A. Ketter, Ann M. Callahan, Robert M. Post

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Previous studies show a state-dependent relationship between depression and post-dexamethasone suppression test (DST) cortisol level, as well as differences in DST response with age and gender. Method: In this study, 74 research in-patients with affective disorders were given the DST on placebo and in a subgroup following treatment with carbamazepine. Depression was evaluated twice daily with the Bunney-Hamburg (BH) rating scale. Data were examined for the total subject population, by gender and by menopausal status in women. Results: A robust positive correlation was observed between depression severity and post-DST cortisol in pre- and postmenopausal females, but not in males. This relationship persisted in women when restudied on a stable dose of carbamazepine (n = 42). Conclusion: The pathophysiological implications of this selective positive relationship between severity of depression and post-DST cortisol in women, but not men, should be explored further.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-401
Number of pages5
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume104
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001

Keywords

  • Carbamazepine
  • Cortisol
  • Depression
  • Dexamethasone
  • Gender
  • Menopause

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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