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This study was undertaken to determine the utility of the Dexamethasone Suppression Test (DST) for diagnosing depression in institutionalized mentally retarded persons. Depressed and nondepressed institutionalized mentally retarded persons were given 1 mg dexamethasone for an overnight DST. Serum cortisol concentrations > 4 μg/dl at both 8:00 am and 4:00 pm provided discrimination of depressed from nondepressed groups. Also, using the criteria of serum cortisol concentrations > 4 μg/dl at 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, at 4:00 pm and 10:00 pm, or at 8:00 am, 4:00 pm, and 10:00 pm differentiated these groups. These results suggest that the DST may be useful for detecting melancholia among institutionalized retarded persons.
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Received in revised form: February 5, 1985
Received: July 30, 1984
☆Supported in part by a research grant awarded to B.E.B. by the University of North Dakota Faculty Research Committee.
© 1985 Published by Elsevier Inc.