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March 1989

Normal Beard Growth and Testicular Volume in Depressed Men

Author Affiliations

Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic 3811 O'Hara St Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1989;46(3):288. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1989.01810030094012

To the Editor.—  We have reported the presence of diminished nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) and decreased penile rigidity during rapid eye movement sleep in physically healthy depressed men compared with ageequated healthy controls. We have also demonstrated an association between decreased penile rigidity and a complaint of waking erectile dysfunction concurrent with major depression.1 These changes in both sleeping and waking measures of sexual function in depressed men stimulated us to investigate whether there might be endorgan changes in these men, reflecting possible alterations in hypothalamicpituitary-gonadal axis function. In an exploratory study, we measured rates of beard growth and testicular volume in a subset of the men whose NPT data we have reported elsewhere.1The pilot study of beard growth was conducted in 14 healthy controls (mean age ± SD, 43.5 ± 11.7 years) and 11 outpatients with a Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia—Research Diagnostic Criteria2

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