Depression and Low DHEA
I suggested that low DHEA may result in depression in 1985, copyrighted. I
was pleased to find the following research.
James Michael Howard
Fayetteville, Arkansas, U.S.A.
Am J Psychiatry 1999 Apr;156(4):646-9
Double-blind treatment of major depression with dehydroepiandrosterone.
Wolkowitz OM, Reus VI, Keebler A, Nelson N, Friedland M, Brizendine L,
Department of Psychiatry, University of California Medical Center, San
"OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to assess possible antidepressant
effects of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), an abundant adrenocortical hormone
in humans. METHOD: Twenty-two patients with major depression, either
medication-free or on stabilized antidepressant regimens, received either
DHEA (maximum dose = 90 mg/day) or placebo for 6 weeks in a double-blind
manner and were rated at baseline and at the end of the 6 weeks with the
Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Patients previously stabilized with
antidepressants had the study medication added to that regimen; others
received DHEA or placebo alone. RESULTS: DHEA was associated with a
significantly greater decrease in Hamilton depression scale ratings than was
placebo. Five of the 11 patients treated with DHEA, compared with none of
the 11 given placebo, showed a 50% decrease or greater in depressive
symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that DHEA treatment may have
significant antidepressant effects in some patients with major depression.
Further, larger-scale trials are warranted."