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J Affect Disord. 1999 Jul;54(1-2):129-37.

Differences in adrenal steroid profile in chronic fatigue syndrome, in depression and in health.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Medical School, Dublin, Ireland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hyperactivity and hypoactivity of the HPA have been forwarded as of pathophysiological relevance in major depressive disorder and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), respectively.

METHODS:

This study examines cortisol levels in the two disorders, and also assesses levels of the adrenal androgens, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulphate derivative (DHEA-S), and 17-alpha-hydroxyprogesterone; 15 subjects with CFS diagnosed according to CDC criteria, 15 subjects with DSM III-R major depression and 11 healthy subjects were compared.

RESULTS:

DHEA and DHEA-S levels were significantly lower in the CFS compared to the healthy group; DHEA-S levels, but not DHEA, were lower in the depressives; cortisol and 17-alpha-hydroxyprogesterone did not differ between the three groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

A potential role for DHEA, both therapeutically and as a diagnostic tool, in CFS, is suggested.

PMID:
10403156
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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