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May 1989

Possible Subtypes of Affective Disorder Suggested by Differences in Cerebral Laterality and Testosterone: A Preliminary Report

Author Affiliations

From the Veterans Administration Medical Center, West Haven, and the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1989;46(5):429-433. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1989.01810050043007

• Two language-related dichotic listening tests of cerebral laterality were used to divide a group of 18 hospitalized patients with affective disorder into two subgroups of nine. The groups proved to differ in serum testosterone levels at the time of admission and in mean serum testosterone levels throughout hospitalization. Moreover, there was a positive correlation between testosterone level and symptom severity in one of the laterality-defined subgroups and a negative correlation in the other. These data (1) provide new evidence of pathophysiological heterogeneity within a single general diagnostic group; (2) suggest that noninvasive, inexpensive, and easily administered dichotic listening tests may be able to define pathophysiologically meaningful subgroups; and (3) suggest a role for testosterone-related alterations in left hemisphere function in the pathogeneses of some affective disorders.

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