Relationship between the loudness dependence of the auditory evoked potential and the severity of suicidal ideation in patients with major depressive disorder
Hwang Mingyu 1, Lee Yeon Jung 1, Hwang Jaeuk 1, Woo Sung-il 1, Lee Minji 1, Kang Byungjoo 1, Lee Yun Sung 2, Hahn Sang-Woo 1*
1Department of Psychiatry, Soonchunhyang University Seoul Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea, 2Department of Medical Sciences, Graduate School of Soonchunhyang University, Asan, Korea
Received: July 7, 2020; Revised: September 22, 2020; Accepted: September 29, 2020; Published online: September 29, 2020.
© The Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

Abstract
Objectives: The loudness dependence of the auditory evoked potential (LDAEP) is a reliable indicator that is inversely related to central serotonergic activity, and recent studies have suggested an association between LDAEP and suicidal ideation. This study investigated differences in LDAEP between patients with major depressive disorder and high suicidality and those with major depressive disorder and low suicidality compared to healthy controls.
Methods: This study included 67 participants: 23 patients with major depressive disorder with high suicidality (9 males, mean age 29.3 ± 15.7 years, total score of SSI-BECK ≥15), 22 patients with major depressive disorder with low suicidality (9 males, mean age 42.2 ± 14.4 years, total score of SSI-BECK ≤ 14), and 22 healthy controls (11 males, mean age 31.6 ± 8.7 years). Participants completed the following assessments: Patient Health Questionnaire-9, Beck Depression Inventory-II, Beck Scale for Suicidal ideation, State Anxiety Scale of the State–Trait Anxiety Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory, and LDAEP (measured at electrode Cz).
Results: There were no sex-related differences among groups (p = 0.821). The high-suicidality group exhibited significantly higher LDAEP compared to the low-suicidality group (0.82 ± 0.79 vs. 0.26 ± 0.36, p = 0.014). No significant differences were found between the control and high-suicidality (p = 0.281) or the control and low-suicidality groups (p = 0.236).
Conclusion: LDAEP was applied to demonstrate the association between serotonergic activity and suicidal ideation and suicide risk in major depression and may be a candidate of biological marker for preventing suicide in this study.
Keywords: Depression, Suicidal ideation, Suicide risk, Biomarker, Auditory evoked potential, Loudness dependence of auditory evoked potentials


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