Various neuroendocrine abnormalities have been reported in depressives as a group (see for review Kalin and Dawson, 1986). The way they relate to the aetiology of depression remains unknown. Yet there must be some form of association between these alterations. The use of a battery of neuroendocrine tests, whereby multiple hormonal responses to a series of challenges are measured in the same patients, allows the study of these interrelationships. Through this strategy an increased variability in neuroendocrine responsiveness (Amsterdam et al., 1983), and the presence of more abnormalities in patients with a positive familial history (Rogue et al., 1985), have been evidenced in major depression.
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