Human growth hormone (HGH) responses to insulin-induced hypoglycemia were measured in ten postmenopausal women suffering from primary unipolar depressive illness, and in ten age-matched normal postmenopausal women. The mean maximal HGH response in the depressed patients was 4.6 ± 4.4 ng/ml, and in the normals 13.3 ± 9.8 ng/ml (P <.05).
All of the normal subjects had clinically adequate HGH responses, in contrast to only four of the depressed patients (P <.01). The blood glucose responses were virtually the same in the two groups. Since brain catecholamines play a major role in mediating HGH responses to hypoglycemia, the findings are consistent with the hypothesis of diminished functional catecholaminergic activity in the depressed patients.
Gruen PH, Sachar EJ, Altman N, Sassin J. Growth Hormone Responses to Hypoglycemia in Postmenopausal Depressed Women. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1975;32(1):31-33. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1975.01760190033003