Year: 1995 Source: Neuropsychopharmacology, v.13, no.1, (August 1995), p.53-64 SIEC No: 20090649

A 38% lower maximal prolactin response to an oral challenge dose of 60 mg of dl-fenfluramine relative to placebo was found in depressed inpatients (less than 30 years) compared with the response in age-matched healthy controls. Severity of depression did not correlate with prolactin response. Prolactin responses in older depressed patients did not differ from older controls. Younger depressed patients differed from older depressed patients in terms of earlier age of onset of first lifetime episode of major depression, greater degree of suicidal intent during a recent suicide attempt, & double the level of hopelessness of admission to hospital. A blunted prolactin response to fenfluramine may be evidence of reduced serotonergic function in younger depressed patients & may underlie their greater suicidality & hopelessness. (102 refs.)