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Re: Depression/ADD and Testosterone treatment

Posted by OddipusRex on January 9, 2003, at 8:18:29

In reply to Re: Depression/ADD and Testosterone treatment, posted by ayrity on January 8, 2003, at 11:05:42

A short article about the study from the NYTimes


January 7, 2003
Mental Health: Lifting Men's Fog of Depression

Men whose depression does not respond to medication should have their testosterone levels checked, a preliminary study conducted at Harvard suggests.

In the study, published in the January issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry, 12 such men were treated with testosterone gel and 10 with a placebo. Three of the men who were given the testosterone showed significant improvement, and most of the others registered at least some improvement.

Dr. Harrison G. Pope Jr., the study's lead author, said that the results were too inconsistent and that the study size was too small to draw any real conclusions about testosterone as a treatment for depression. The study's most significant finding, he said, came during an early stage, when potential subjects were being screened.

Earlier research, he said, indicated that about 10 percent of depressed men had low or borderline testosterone levels. But when his team screened a group of men whose depression had failed to respond to treatment, they found that almost half of them had low levels.

Dr. Pope said this suggested a possible link between testosterone and the functioning of antidepressants in men. It also showed that low levels of testosterone might be more common than thought among men who did not respond to treatment, he said.

At the least, Dr. Pope said, psychiatrists should order tests of testosterone levels for men who do not respond to antidepressants and consider a course of supplements while more research is conducted.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company |

> >
> > Am J Psychiatry 2003 Jan;160(1):105-11
> >
> > Testosterone gel supplementation for men with refractory depression: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial.
> >
> > Pope HG Jr, Cohane GH, Kanayama G, Siegel AJ, Hudson JI.
> >
> > OBJECTIVE: Testosterone supplementation may produce antidepressant effects in men, but until recently it has required cumbersome parenteral administration. In an 8-week randomized, placebo-controlled trial, the authors administered a testosterone transdermal gel to men aged 30-65 who had refractory depression and low or borderline testosterone levels. METHOD: Of 56 men screened, 24 (42.9%) displayed morning serum total testosterone levels of 350 ng/dl or less (normal range=270-1070). Of these men, 23 entered the study. One responded to an initial 1-week single-blind placebo period, and 22 were subsequently randomly assigned: 12 to 1% testosterone gel, 10 g/day, and 10 to identical-appearing placebo. Each subject continued his existing antidepressant regimen. Ten subjects receiving testosterone and nine receiving placebo completed the 8-week trial. RESULTS: The groups were closely matched on baseline demographic and psychiatric measures. Subjects receiving testosterone gel had significantly greater improvement in scores on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale than subjects receiving placebo. These changes were noted on both the vegetative and affective subscales of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. A significant difference was also found on the Clinical Global Impression severity scale but not the Beck Depression Inventory. One subject assigned to testosterone reported increased difficulty with urination, suggesting an exacerbation of benign prostatic hyperplasia; no other subject reported adverse events apparently attributable to testosterone. CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary findings suggest that testosterone gel may produce antidepressant effects in the large and probably underrecognized population of depressed men with low testosterone levels.




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