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Br Med J. 1970 Mar 28;1(5699):789-91.

Clinical associations of 11-hydroxycorticosteroid suppression and non-suppression in severe depressive illnesses.


Fifty patients with severe depression were separated into two groups by the responses of their plasma 11-hydroxycorticosteriod levels to a midnight dose of 2 mg. of dexamethasone. Clinical and questionary comparisons were made between the two groups of patients, who were similar as regards age, sex, and length of symptoms before admission to hospital. No differences were found between the groups of severely ill patients as regards the severity of their depression and anxiety assessed by questionary. Nevertheless, agitation was significantly greater in the patients whose corticosteroid levels were not suppressed by dexamethasone and adverse childhood experiences in those whose levels were suppressed.

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