The authors took multiple serum samples for measurement of melatonin between 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. in seven male depressed patients with melancholia and five healthy male control subjects and found that melancholic patients had a significantly lower rise of melatonin. They also compared a second, separate group of 14 women and five men suffering from melancholic depression with seven healthy male control subjects and nine depressed women without melancholia. The melancholic patients had a significantly lower concentration of serum melatonin at 11:00 p.m. than either the control subjects or the nonmelancholic depressed patients. These findings support the possibility that the functioning of the pineal gland is altered in these patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health