Toward Clinically Useful Neuroimaging in Depression Treatment Prognostic Utility of Subgenual Cingulate Activity for Determining Depression Outcome in Cognitive Therapy Across Studies, Scanners, and Patient Characteristics
ABSTRACT CONTEXT Among depressed individuals not receiving medication in controlled trials, 40% to 60% respond to cognitive therapy (CT). Multiple previous studies suggest that activity in the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC; Brodmann area 25) predicts outcome in CT for depression, but these results have not been prospectively replicated. OBJECTIVE To examine whether sgACC activity is a reliable and robust prognostic outcome marker of CT for depression and whether sgACC activity changes in treatment. DESIGN Two inception cohorts underwent assessment with functional magnetic resonance imaging using different scanners on a task sensitive to sustained emotional information processing before and after 16 to 20 sessions of CT, along with a sample of control participants who underwent testing at comparable intervals. SETTING A hospital outpatient clinic. PATIENTS Forty-nine unmedicated depressed adults and 35 healthy controls. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Pretreatment sgACC activity in an a priori region in response to negative words was correlated with residual severity and used to classify response and remission. RESULTS As expected, in both samples, participants with the lowest pretreatment sustained sgACC reactivity in response to negative words displayed the most improvement after CT (R2 = 0.29, >75% correct classification of response, >70% correct classification of remission). Other a priori regions explained additional variance. Response/remission in cohort 2 was predicted based on thresholds from cohort 1. Subgenual anterior cingulate activity remained low for patients in remission after treatment. CONCLUSIONS Neuroimaging provides a quick, valid, and clinically applicable way of assessing neural systems associated with treatment response/remission. Subgenual anterior cingulate activity, in particular, may reflect processes that interfere with treatment (eg, emotion generation) in addition to its putative regulatory role; alternately, its absence may facilitate treatment response.
10/2014; 13(3). DOI:10.1002/wps.20166
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ABSTRACT: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a heterogeneous condition with a variable response to a wide range of treatments. Despite intensive efforts, no biomarker has been identified to date that can reliably predict response or non-response to any form of treatment, nor has one been identified that can be used to identify those at high risk of developing treatment-resistant depression (ie, non-response to a sequence of treatments delivered for adequate duration and intensity). This manuscript reviews some past areas of research that have proved informative, such as studies using indexes of hypercortisolism or sleep disturbance, and more recent research findings using measures of inflammation and different indicators of regional cortical activation to predict treatment response. It is concluded that, although no method has yet been demonstrated to be sufficiently accurate to be applied in clinical practice, progress has been made. It thus seems likely that-at some point in the not-too-distant future-it will be possible to prospectively identify, at least for some MDD patients, the likelihood of response or non-response to cognitive therapy or various antidepressant medications.Dialogues in clinical neuroscience 12/2014; 16(4):539-44.
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ABSTRACT: The use of neuroimaging approaches to identify likely treatment outcomes in patients with major depressive disorder is developing rapidly. Emerging work suggests that resting state pretreatment metabolic activity in the fronto-insular cortex may distinguish between patients likely to respond to psychotherapy or medication and may function as a treatment-selection biomarker. In contrast, high metabolic activity in the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex may be predictive of poor outcomes to both medication and psychotherapy, suggesting that nonstandard treatments may be pursued earlier in the treatment course. Although these findings will require replication before clinical adoption, they provide preliminary support for the concept that brain states can be measured and applied to the selection of a specific treatment most likely to be beneficial for an individual patient.Dialogues in clinical neuroscience 12/2014; 16(4):479-90.