Steffens, D C, et al., Metabolomic Differences in Heart Failure Patients with and without Major Depression. J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol, 2010. 23(2): 138-46.


Metabolomics is an emerging technology that allows researchers to characterize hundreds of small molecules that comprise the metabolome. We sought to determine metabolic differences in depressed and nondepressed participants. The sample consisted of a depressed group of patients with heart failure enrolled in an NIMH-supported clinical trial of sertraline versus placebo in depressed heart failure patients, and a nondepressed comparator group of heart failure patients. Plasma was obtained from blood samples provided by participants at baseline, and samples were profiled on GC-MS and LC-MS metabolomics platforms for bio- chemical content. A number of biochemicals were significantly different between groups, with depressed participants showing higher concentrations of several amino acids and dicarboxylic fatty acids. These results are consistent with prior findings where changes in neurotransmitter systems and fatty acid metabolism were shown to associate with the depressed state. It is unclear what role heart failure may have played in these differing concentrations.

depression, heart failure, metabolomics

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