Neurohormonal responses to d-fenfluramine in healthy elderly subjects. A placebo-controlled study
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Considering age-related changes in serotonin (5HT) function, we examined normative data of prolactin (PRL) and cortisol (CORT) responses to D-fenfluramine (D-FEN) in healthy elderly subjects. Twenty-three healthy male and female volunteers aged 60-86 participated in a single-blind, placebo-controlled, fixed-order, crossover-design challenge test. Two baseline PRL and CORT values and the responses of these hormones to 30 mg of oral D-FEN and placebo over a 4 h period were measured on two separate sessions. PRL and CORT responses were significantly greater following D-FEN than after placebo. Peak PRL responses (maximum change from baseline following D-FEN) were relatively robust compared to peak CORT responses. Peak PRL concentration was positively correlated with plasma D-nor-FEN concentration. Gender and aging had no effect on hormonal responses in the elderly. Although the weight adjusted dose used in this study was higher than the therapeutic dose of D-FEN, PRL responses were modest and only two participants experienced side effects. D-FEN is a safe serotonergic probe and PRL responsivity to D-FEN is a reliable index of central 5HT function in the elderly. An age-related decline in serotonergic function must be considered in determining the dose requirement for maximal hormonal responses to D-FEN challenge tests in the elderly.
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