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December 1973

Depression, Psychopathy, and Herpesvirus Type I AntibodiesLack of Relationship

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry (Drs. Pokorny and Mefferd), the Department of Virology (Drs. Rawls and Adam), and the Department of Physiology (Dr. Mefferd), Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, and from the Veterans Administration, Houston (Drs. Pokorny and Mefferd).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1973;29(6):820-822. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1973.04200060092014

This study attempted to confirm earlier reports that antibody titers to the herpes simplex virus were significantly elevated in patients with depressive illness and psychopathic disorder. One hundred ninety-seven subjects were studied, including 62 patients with a diagnosis of depression and 29 patients with antisocial personality or emotionally unstable personality disorder.

The methods of antibody assay included measurement of neutralizing antibodies and complement-fixation antibodies. No significant elevation of herpesvirus type I antibodies was found in either the depressive group or the personality disorder group. The incidence of antibody positive subjects and the titer levels tended to increase with age.