Brain functional changes during placebo lead-in and changes in specific symptoms during pharmacotherapy for major depression

Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioural Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Ángeles, California, United States
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica (Impact Factor: 5.61). 04/2009; 119(4):266-73. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2008.01305.x
Source: PubMed


Brain functional changes during placebo lead-in have been associated with antidepressant response in clinical trials for major depressive disorder (MDD); however, the relationship between such non-pharmacodynamic changes in brain function and changes in specific symptoms is unknown.
Fifty-eight adults with MDD completed a 1-week single-blind placebo lead-in preceding 8 weeks of double-blind randomized treatment with fluoxetine or venlafaxine (n = 30) or placebo (n = 28). Brain functional change during lead-in was assessed using quantitative electroencephalographic (qEEG) prefrontal theta-band cordance. Symptoms were assessed using the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R).
The multiple regression model examining the qEEG parameter in relation to SCL-90-R subscales was significant [F(9,9) = 4.27, P = 0.021, R(2) = 0.81] in females, with a significant association for the interpersonal sensitivity subscale (beta coefficient = 1.94, P = 0.001).
Prefrontal neurophysiologic change during placebo lead-in may indicate subsequent antidepressant-related improvement in symptoms of interpersonal sensitivity.

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