Abstract: Does somatosensory amplification decrease with antidepressant treatment?

Psychosomatics. 2005 Jul-Aug;46(4):340-4.

Sayar K, Barsky AJ, Gulec H.

Inonu caddesi Sumko Sitesi, K 2 Blok D:11, Kozyatagi 81090, Istanbul, Turkey. kemalsayar@hotmail.com.

Somatosensory amplification refers to a tendency to experience somatic and visceral sensations as unusually intense, noxious, and disturbing. The authors wanted to determine whether somatosensory amplification is a stable construct or whether it might change with antidepressant therapy. Fifteen patients with fibromyalgia and 17 patients with major depressive disorder received antidepressant treatment and were assessed after 6 and 12 weeks of treatment.

Amplification scores responded to antidepressant treatment in patients with major depression but not in patients with fibromyalgia, despite a decrease in the levels of depression in both groups.

When change in depression and anxiety scores was partialled out from change in somatosensory amplification scores, the amplification scores did not change significantly in either the depressed or the fibromyalgia groups. Given the small numbers and the marginal significance of the results, the authors are unable to say definitely just how independent of depression somatosensory amplification is. Whether somatosensory amplification is a measure of depression per se should be tested in a more definitive and larger future study.

PMID: 16000677 [PubMed – in process]

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