Plasma growth hormone (GH) concentrations were determined every 20 minutes during sleep in 71 prepubertal children: 22 had endogenous major depressive disorder, 20 had nonendogenous major depressive disorder, 21 had nondepressed neurotic disorders, and eight were normal. Both depressive groups secreted significantly more GH during sleep than did controls. Measures included maximal GH plasma peak and area under the curve (AUC) during the total sleep period, during the first three hours after sleep onset, and during the first five hours after sleep onset. An AUC cutoff of 2,000 ngx min/mL Identified positively half the prepubertal children with major depression; with a specificity of 78% (v neurotics) and 100% (v normal children). Increased GH secretion during sleep may be a marker of illness, a past episode, or trait for prepubertal major depression regardless of endogenicity.
Puig-Antich J, Goetz R, Davies M, Fein M, Hanlon C, Chambers WJ, Tabrizi MA, Sachar EJ, Weitzman ED. Growth Hormone Secretion in Prepubertal Children With Major DepressionIL Sleep-Related Plasma Concentrations During a Depressive Episode. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(5):463-466. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790160049005