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Short-lasting behavioural effects of thyrotropin-releasing hormone in depressed women: results of placebo-controlled study.

Author(s): Bunevicius R, Matulevicius V

Affiliation(s): Institute of Endocrinology, Kaunas Medical Academy, Lithuania.

Publication date & source: 1993, Psychoneuroendocrinology., 18(5-6):445-9.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

The rapid and short-lasting behavioral effects of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) were investigated in female patients with DSM-III-R major depression syndrome (MDS). Twenty-six depressed patients free of any medication received 0.2 mg of Protirelin (synthetic TRH) intravenously and 16 received placebo. All patients completed the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale and the Spielberger State and Trait Anxiety Inventory (SSAI and STAI) twice: before and 2 hr after protirelin or placebo administration. The significant improvement in patients' emotional state after TRH injection was observed on STAI (p < .001) and SSAI (p < .01). Protireline was superior to placebo on STAI (p < .005). There was no significant correlation between behavioral effects of Protirelin and changes in thyroid hormones and TSH secretion. The improvement in patients' emotional state was more evident in depressed patients without associated panic attacks than in MDS with panic. These findings suggest that TRH has rapid positive effects on depression and that they depend more on patients' emotional state than on the function of the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid axis.

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