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Depressive State and Auditory Brainstem Response a Tentative Future Method for Diagnosis and Pharmacological Control of Depression

Jens Holmberg, Johan Källstrand and Sören Nielzén*

Twelve women (23 to 55 years of age, middle-class, depressed, before pharmacological treatment) from a mid-Swedish town were recruited to take part in this study. The first aim was to assess an objective electrophysiological measure for depression. Secondly, a measure to follow the anti-depressive effect of Citalopram was searched for. Complex auditory stimulation was performed in accordance with a patented method, SD-BERA®, to produce Auditory Brain stem Response (ABR) curves. The total curves were correlated with 3500 Hz sinus/ triangle waves and compared with curves similarly correlated from 41 healthy females from earlier studies. The results from the computations from several sorts of complex sounds as stimuli differentiated depressive patients from healthy subjects. The differences were called “traits”. Two traits were chosen, one strongly identifying depression and one better following the pharmacological outcome over time.

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