Serum dopamine-beta-hydroxylase (DBH) levels were assessed in 150 depressed patients of both sexes, with a mean age of 44.0 ± 12.3 (SD) years. Patients were divided into unipolars (n = 46), bipolars (n = 25), neurotic-reactive (n = 46) and unspecified (n = 38) i.e., those who did not fit into any of the previous categories. According to their status 38 patients were psychotic and 104 clearly nonpsychotic at the time of the DBH assessment. Personality characteristics were assessed for the same patients when they had markedly improved from their depression. In line with previous findings bipolar patients were found to have slightly lower serum DBH values than unipolars, and psychotic patients slightly lower values than nonpsychotic. However, none of the differences among diagnostic groups or between psychotic and nonpsychotic patients was statistically significant. Weak negative correlations were found between serum DBH and the personality variables social desirability and indirect aggression, but an earlier finding of a positive correlation with the personality trait monotony avoidance, could not be confirmed. Owing to the large interindividual variations in serum DBH it is concluded that correlations between serum DBH and personality characteristics might be spurious and due to chance. This study does not support the assumption that significant differences in serum DBH might occur among subgroups of depressed patients.

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