• Immunoreactive (ir) plasma β-endorphin level was assayed in ten symptomatic patients with a unipolar major depressive disorder and in 16 psychiatrically normal controls matched for age and sex. Plasma ir-β-endorphin level in depressed patients was similar to that in controls. All depressed patients had a transient, approximately threefold increase in ir-β-endorphin after each use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). The increase of plasma ir-β-endorphin level after ECT parallels the transient elevation of adrenocorticotropic hormone-level reported by others and probably reflects a hypothalamic response to ECT.
Alexopoulos GS, Inturrisi CE, Lipman R, Frances R, Haycox J, Dougherty JH, Rossier J. Plasma Immunoreactive β-Endorphin Levels in DepressionEffect of Electroconvulsive Therapy. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(2):181–183. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790020079007