CSF GABA in depressed patients and normal controls.
ABSTRACT The inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of depression. Therefore, we examined cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of GABA in depressed patients (N = 25) and normal controls (N = 20). There was no significant difference between the groups. However, among the depressed patients the subgroup of unipolar melancholic patients (N = 13) had significantly lower CSF levels of GABA than the rest of the depressed patients (N = 12). There was no significant difference for CSF levels of GABA between depressed patients who were (N = 14) or were not (N = 11) cortisol non-suppressors. It was of interest that among the controls there was a significant negative correlation between CSF levels of GABA and CSF levels of norepinephrine.
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ABSTRACT: Background Low gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is implicated in both anxiety and depression pathophysiology. They are often comorbid, but most clinical studies have not examined these relationships separately. We investigated the relationship of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) free GABA to the anxiety and depression components of a major depressive episode (MDE) and to monoamine systems. Methods and MaterialsPatients with a DSM-IV major depressive episode (N = 167: 130 major depressive disorder; 37 bipolar disorder) and healthy volunteers (N = 38) had CSF free GABA measured by gas chromatography mass spectroscopy. Monoamine metabolites were assayed by high performance liquid chromatography. Symptomatology was assessed by Hamilton depression rating scale. ResultsPsychic anxiety severity increased with age and correlated with lower CSF free GABA, controlling for age. CSF free GABA declined with age but was not related to depression severity. Other monoamine metabolites correlated positively with CSF GABA but not with psychic anxiety or depression severity. CSF free GABA was lower in MDD compared with bipolar disorder and healthy volunteers. GABA levels did not differ based on a suicide attempt history in mood disorders. Recent exposure to benzodiazepines, but not alcohol or past alcoholism, was associated with a statistical trend for more severe anxiety and lower CSF GABA. Conclusions Lower CSF GABA may explain increasing severity of psychic anxiety in major depression with increasing age. This relationship is not seen with monoamine metabolites, suggesting treatments targeting the GABAergic system should be evaluated in treatment-resistant anxious major depression and in older patients.Depression and Anxiety 05/2014; 31(10). DOI:10.1002/da.22278 · 4.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Amino acids play key roles in the function of the central nervous system, and their alterations are implicated in psychiatric disorders. In the search for a biomarker for major depressive disorder (MDD), we used high-performance liquid chromatography to measure amino acids and related molecules in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 52 patients with MDD (42 depressed and 10 remitted; DSM-IV) and 54 matched controls. Significant differences were found in four amino acid concentrations between the depressed patients and controls. After Bonferroni correction, only ethanolamine (EA) levels remained significantly reduced in depressed patients (nominal P = 0.0000011). A substantial proportion of the depressed patients (40.5%) showed abnormally low CSF EA levels (<12.1 μM) (P = 0.000033; OR = 11.6, 95% CI: 3.1-43.2). When patients with low EA and those with high EA levels were compared, the former had higher scores for overall depression severity (P = 0.0033) and 'Somatic Anxiety' symptoms (P = 0.00026). In unmedicated subjects, CSF EA levels showed a significant positive correlation with levels of homovanillic acid (P = 0.0030) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (P = 0.019). To our knowledge, this is the first study showing that patients with MDD have significantly lower CSF EA concentrations compared with control subjects. CSF EA could be a state-dependent biomarker for a subtype of MDD.Scientific Reports 01/2015; 5:7796. DOI:10.1038/srep07796 · 5.08 Impact Factor