BMJ Case Reports 2013; doi:10.1136/bcr-2013-009101

Steroid-responsive depression

  1. Christoph Nissen
  1. Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Christoph Nissen, christoph.nissen{at}


A 48-year-old man presented with long-standing symptoms of major depression in the absence of markedly abnormal neurological findings or structural brain alterations. Antidepressive treatment, including medication and psychotherapy, had not led to significant improvement. The EEG, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis, fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography and neuropsychological testing showed pathological findings. An epileptic state provided further evidence for an organic encephalopathy. Extensively elevated thyroid-antibodies in the serum and CSF, as well as the rapid and sustained recovery after intravenous treatment with prednisolone, pointed to the diagnosis of a primarily psychiatric manifestation of a steroid responsive encephalopathy associated with autoimmune thyroiditis (SREAT).

Register for free content

The full text of all Editor's Choice articles and summaries of every article are free without registration

The full text of Images in ... articles are free to registered users

Only fellows can access the full text of case reports (apart from Editor's Choice) - become a fellow today, or encourage your institution to, so that together we can grow and develop this resource

Don't forget to sign up for content alerts so you keep up to date with all the case reports as they are published, and let us know what you think by commenting on the Editor's blog

Navigate This Article