Avolition in a patient with hypogonadism

Willem Verhoeven, S Tuinier, JIM Egger, F Erp, J Tuerlings

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Abstract

Background and Objectives: Testosterone deficiency has been implicated in the etiology of depression although there is an ongoing debate on the nature of this association. There is a paucity of data about the psychological impact of hypogonadism in genetic disorders associated with testosterone deficiency. Methods: A 57-year-old male is described who was referred for treatment resistant depression. His history showed infertility and lowered testosterone. A selective literature review is given to clarify the patient's clinical condition. Results: Cytogenctic analysis demonstrated a Robertsonian translocation between chromosomes 13 and 14 that accounted for his infertility. The psychopathological picture did not meet the criteria for it major depressive disorder but was characterized by symptoms of apathy or avolition. These symptoms were most probably aggravated by previous long lasting treatment with antidepressants. Conclusions: Testosterone deficiency may be related to motivational deficits that should not be misunderstood for depressive illness. Apathy is probably an underestimated side effect of antidepressants.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)195-199
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychiatry
Volume22
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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