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Speech Pause Time as a Method for the Evaluation of Psychomotor Retardation in Depressive Illness

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 January 2018

G. M. A. Hoffman
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Erasme Hospital, University Clinics of Brussels, University of Brussels, 808 Route de Lennick, 1070 Brussels, Belgium
J. C. Gonze
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Erasme Hospital, University Clinics of Brussels, University of Brussels, 808 Route de Lennick, 1070 Brussels, Belgium
J. Mendlewicz*
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Erasme Hospital, University Clinics of Brussels, University of Brussels, 808 Route de Lennick, 1070 Brussels, Belgium
*
Correspondence

Summary

Psychomotor retardation is important in some depressed patients. We found that speech pause time (SPT) during a counting test correlated with the reaction time of both depressed patients and controls. It also correlated with global psychomotor retardation measured on Widlocher's scale. We demonstrated increased SPT in unipolar depressives, and also in retarded depressives as a group when compared with controls and with non-retarded depressives. SPT varied diurnally in controls, but not in depressed subjects. It did not correlate with biological markers of depression (REM sleep latency and the dexamethasone suppression test). It did, however, shorten during clinical improvement with antidepressant chemotherapy.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © 1985 The Royal College of Psychiatrists 

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