JOURNAL ARTICLE

Platelet 5-HT concentration and comorbid depression in war veterans with and without posttraumatic stress disorder

Dorotea Mück-Seler, Nela Pivac, Miro Jakovljević, Marina Sagud, Alma Mihaljević-Peles
Journal of Affective Disorders 2003, 75 (2): 171-9
12798257

BACKGROUND: The serotonergic system is implicated in the pathophysiology of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. The present study focused on platelet serotonin (5-HT) concentration and symptoms of comorbid depression in war veterans with or without PTSD.

METHODS: PTSD and depression were evaluated using Clinician Administered PTSD Scale, Davidson Trauma Scale, Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale and Hamilton Anxiety Scale. Sixty-five male drug-free war veterans (48 with PTSD and 17 without PTSD) and 65 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were studied.

RESULTS: Comorbid depression occurred in 54 and 31% of war veterans with PTSD and without PTSD, respectively. Platelet 5-HT concentration was similar in the groups of depressed and nondepressed war veterans with or without PTSD and healthy controls. Platelet 5-HT concentration was found to differ between war veterans with various degrees of appetite loss. A positive correlation was observed between platelet 5-HT concentration and severity of appetite loss in veterans with PTSD. There was no relationship between platelet 5-HT concentration and severity of other symptoms of PTSD or depression.

LIMITATIONS: War veterans included in the study were outpatients.

CONCLUSIONS: War veterans with PTSD had a high incidence of comorbid depression, that was not related to platelet 5-HT concentration. The marked relationship between platelet 5-HT concentration and severity of appetite loss, suggested that 5-HT system is involved in the regulation of appetite, at least in depressed war veterans with PTSD.

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