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Functional brain connectivity predicts antidepressant response in major depression

04 Oct 2019

Specific functional network-based moderators of treatment outcome have been identified, and these involve brain networks affected by major depression, reports a study. In addition, a favourable response for an antidepressant medication appears to be influenced by functional connectivity patterns of brain regions between and within networks.

“Major depressive disorder is associated with aberrant resting-state functional connectivity across multiple brain networks supporting emotion processing, executive function and reward processing,” the authors said.

A total of 279 participants in the Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response in Clinical Care (EMBARC) study underwent structural and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging at baseline and were then randomized to receive either sertraline or placebo treatment for 8 weeks.

The authors computed the functional connectivity between brain regions using a region of interest-based approach. They then identified brain regions that moderated (ie, differentially predicted) outcomes between the sertraline and placebo arms using linear mixed-model intent-to-treat analyses.

Several within- and between-network connectivity patterns were involved in the prediction of response to sertraline. Of note, higher connectivity within the default mode network was a predictor of better outcomes for sertraline. Greater between-network connectivity of the default mode and executive control networks also predicted favourable outcomes for the antidepressant drug.

On the other hand, between-network hippocampal connectivity predicted (in opposite directions) the outcomes for both placebo and sertraline, according to the authors.

Sertraline is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor that affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with depression, panic, anxiety or obsessive-compulsive symptoms. [https://www.drugs.com/sertraline.html]

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Most Read Articles
05 Nov 2019
Low total cholesterol levels appear to carry increased major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) hazard in older men without ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and not receiving statin therapy but not to those on statins, according to data from the CHAMP (Concord Health and Ageing in Men Project) cohort.
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Better sleep appears to weaken pain and fatigue in older, community-dwelling adults with hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA), reports a recent study.
6 days ago
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