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Biol Psychiatry. 1998 Aug 15;44(4):274-80.

Biological parameters in major depression: effects of paroxetine, viloxazine, moclobemide, and electroconvulsive therapy. Relation to early clinical outcome.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Biochimie, Hôpital Neurologique, Lyon, France.



Clinical and pharmacologic studies report a relative or absolute serotonergic deficiency in major depression; however, the variability of clinical characteristics of illness has led to controversial results. In the present work, we looked for a possible relationship between i) biochemical values that indirectly reflect aminergic neurons activity and clinical characteristics and ii) their evolution and the early clinical outcome under antidepressive therapies (ATs).


Platelet serotonin content, platelet monoamine oxydase activity, and urinary biopterins were measured in 27 depressed patients before and during four different ATs (paroxetine, viloxazine, moclobemide, or electroconvulsive therapy). Depressive symptomatology and its evolution under ATs were quantified using three clinical rating scales.


A severe symptomatology, high serotonin (5-HT) platelet content, and high or low urinary B could represent risk factors leading to a smaller or delayed response to an AT. Furthermore, the early improvement under ATs was negatively correlated to pretreatment 5-HT platelet content.


Determination of 5-HT level could be useful in the choice of an AT.

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