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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of intrathecal thyrotropin-releasing hormone (protirelin) in refractory depressed patients.

BACKGROUND: Therapeutic effects of the tripeptide protirelin (thyrotropin-releasing hormone) have been postulated in the affective disorders, but direct assessment in humans has been hindered by poor blood-brain barrier permeability. METHODS: Eight medication-free inpatients with refractory depression received 500 micrograms of protirelin via a lumbar intrathecal injection and an identical sham lumbar puncture procedure, separated by 1 week, in a double-blind crossover design. RESULTS: Five of eight patients responded to intrathecal protirelin, defined as a 50% or greater reduction in an abbreviated Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression score. Suicidality also was reduced significantly (P < .05). Responses were rapid and clinically robust, but short-lived. CONCLUSION: Administration of protirelin by an intrathecal route induced a rapid improvement in mood and suicidality in these refractory depressed patients, supporting the hypothesis that thyrotropin-releasing hormone could be a positive modulator of mood.[1]


  1. Effects of intrathecal thyrotropin-releasing hormone (protirelin) in refractory depressed patients. Marangell, L.B., George, M.S., Callahan, A.M., Ketter, T.A., Pazzaglia, P.J., L'Herrou, T.A., Leverich, G.S., Post, R.M. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry (1997) [Pubmed]
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