Prediction of the antidepressant response to total sleep deprivation of depressed patients: Longitudinal versus single day assessment of diurnal mood variation

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      The relationship between diurnal variation of mood and the clinical response to total sleep deprivation (TSD) was investigated in 43 depressed patients. The question asked was whether the propensity to produce diurnal variations of mood or the actual mood course on the day before TSD determines the clinical response to TSD.
      Patients rated their mood three times daily during an experimental period of 56 days. The frequency as well as the amplitude of daily mood changes were assessed during this period. For each patient six TSDs were scheduled: two after days with a positive mood course, two after a negative mood course, and two after days without a diurnal change of mood. This strategy allowed comparisons of TSD responses within patients. Moreover, longitudinally and retrospectively assessed diurnal variation were compared with each other.
      It was found that patients vary largely in the occurrence of diurnal variations of mood. The propensity to produce diurnal variations either in terms of frequency or amplitude was positively correlated with the response to TSD. Within patients no differences were found in responses to TSDs applied after days with diurnal variations (positive or negative) or without diurnal variations.
      A second aim was to get more insight into the mechanism relating diurnal variations of mood and the TSD response. Therefore, the interrelatedness of various measures of diurnal variations, such as amplitudes and frequencies of positive or negative diurnal mood changes, was studied, as well as the relationships of these variables with TSD responses. On the basis of the strong interrelatedness it is suggested that they all reflect the same underlying mechanism, to be symbolized by an oscillator, producing positive daily fluctuations of mood.


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