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Growth Hormone and Prolactin in Unipolar and Bipolar Depressed Patients: Responses to Hypoglycemia and L-Dopa
EDWARD J. SACHAR; ANDREW G. FRANTZ; NORMAN ALTMAN; JON SASSIN
Am J Psychiatry 1973;130:1362-1367.
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Director, Department of Psychiatry, Bronx Municipal Hospital Center, Eastchester Rd. and Pelham Pkwy., Bronx, N.Y. 10461, and Professor of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, N.Y.

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, N.Y.

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center, Bronx, N.Y.

Associate Professor of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center, Bronx, N.Y.

1973, The American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

In response to both insulin-induced hypoglycemia and the ingestion of 500 mg. of L-dopa, unipolar depressed patients (most of whom were postmenopausal women) secreted significantly less growth hormone (GH) than did normal subjects or bipolar depressed patients in the same age range (45 to 70 years). Prolactin responses to L-dopa were normal for nearly all subjects. Since it is believed that prolactin responses to L-dopa are mediated by brain dopamine and GH responses by brain norepinephrine, the data tend to support the hypothesis that there is a disturbance of brain norepinephrine metabolism in unipolar depressive illness. However, further study is needed to determine the effects of the menopause on GH secretion.

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