Publication date: Nov 12, 2023
Inflammation is an important component of the etiopathology of depression that uses oxidative and nitrosative stress (O&NS) and elevated inflammatory markers. SARS-CoV-2 infection is also associated with abnormal inflammatory processes, which may impair effective treatment of depression in COVID-19 survivors. In the presented study, thirty-three hospitalized patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) were started on antidepressant treatment, and twenty-one were re-evaluated after 4-6 weeks. The control group consisted of thirty healthy volunteers. All participants underwent neuropsychiatric evaluation, biochemical blood and urine analyses. The results of the research demonstrated positive correlations of the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) scores with serum catalase (CAT) and urinary S-Nitrosothiols levels, and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) scores with serum reduced glutathione (GSH) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels. Depressed patients with a history of COVID-19 prior to the treatment had higher urinary nitric oxide (NO) levels and lower serum glutathione peroxidase (GPx) levels. In the control group, COVID-19 survivors had higher levels of urinary N-formylkynurenine (NFK). Our results suggest that the antidepressant treatment has a modulating effect on O&NS, reduces depressive symptoms and improves cognitive functions The present study does not indicate that clinical response to antidepressant treatment is associated with COVID-19 history and baseline SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels. Nevertheless, further research in this area is needed to systematize antidepressant treatment in COVID-19 survivors.
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