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To compare the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase level in patients with depression and healthy controls

Virendra Singh Pal, Rahul Mathur, Harsimran Singh.


Introduction: Depression is a multifactorial disorder, and novel biomarkers which might be predictive of depression are very intriguing as depression currently no biomarker of depression is available and it is heavily associated with increasing treatment resistance. Major depression is reportedly associated with inflammatory processes which include elevated levels of proinflammatory cytokines, decreased neurogenesis, which is followed by neuro progression (including pathological reorganization of the central nervous system), mitochondrial dysfunction, and the dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. There are observed lowered antioxidant concentrations and increased oxidative stress levels as well causing changes in activity and expression of various anti-inflammatory agents like Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), the activity of which may be measured by various methods.
Aim: To study the levels of the inflammatory marker Superoxide Dismutase enzyme (SOD) in individuals with depression and individuals without depression.
Methods and material:
The cross-sectional study was conducted at the Department of Psychiatry MGM medical college, Indore, India. A convenient sample of 60 patients with depression and 60 controls were recruited for one year. Patients attending Psychiatry OPD were assessed through semi-structured Performa consisting of socio-demographic variables and clinical variables, clinical rating scale which is Hamilton depressive rating scale, and Human Superoxide Dismutase ELISA kit. Appropriate statistical tests for continuous and categorical variables were applied; the value of statistical significance was kept as P < 0.05.
The mean age of the case group i.e. was 31.9 years ± 8.26 years while that of the control group i.e. was 31.2 years ± 7.32 years. The mean serum SOD for patients of depression is 1.52±0.24u/ml which is considered a high value as compared to serum SOD levels in controls which were 1.39±0.34 u/ml, which is low. This value differed statistically significantly with a t-value of 2.98 and a p-value of 0.03.
There is a greater prevalence of depression among the young population and there is also a slight male preponderance for depression. Contrary to the Western notion that marriage is a protective factor, about half of the study participants with depression were married. Serum Superoxide dismutase levels were significantly higher in depressed patients as compared to healthy controls making it a potential biomarker of depressive disorder in the future, which makes it a good perspective for further research.

Key words: depression, depression investigations, superoxide dismutase in depression

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