W L Strauss

University of Washington Seattle, Seattle, Washington, United States

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Publications (13)126.24 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Pediatric populations, including those with autistic disorder or other pervasive developmental disorders, increasingly are being prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Little is known about the age-related brain pharmacokinetics of SSRIs; there is a lack of data regarding optimal dosing of medications for children. The authors used fluorine magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((19)F MRS) to evaluate age effects on whole-brain concentrations of fluvoxamine and fluoxetine in children taking SSRIs. Twenty-one pediatric subjects with diagnoses of autistic disorder or other pervasive developmental disorders, 6-15 years old and stabilized with a consistent dose of fluvoxamine or fluoxetine, were recruited for the study; 16 successfully completed the imaging protocol. Whole-brain drug levels in this group were compared to similarly acquired data from 28 adults. A significant relationship between dose and brain drug concentration was observed for both drugs across the age range studied. Brain fluvoxamine concentration in the children was lower, consistent with a lower dose/body mass drug prescription; when brain concentration was adjusted for dose/mass, age effects were no longer significant. Brain fluoxetine concentration was similar between age groups; no significant age effects on brain fluoxetine drug levels remained after adjustment for dose/mass. Observations of brain fluoxetine bioavailability and elimination half-life also were similar between age groups. These findings suggest that fluvoxamine or fluoxetine prescriptions adjusted for dose/mass are an acceptable treatment approach for medicating children with autistic disorder or other pervasive developmental disorders. It must be determined whether these findings can be generalized to other pediatric populations.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2002 · American Journal of Psychiatry
  • Wayne L Strauss · Stephen R Dager
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    ABSTRACT: Fluorine magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((19)F MRS) measurements of fluoxetine and metabolite concentration in the human brain underestimate true drug levels because of a bound, MRS-"invisible" pool of drug molecules. Magnetization transfer (MT) spectroscopy may be a useful technique for characterizing this bound pool of fluoxetine in the brain. Six subjects on consistent daily doses of fluoxetine underwent (19)F MT spectroscopy on a 1.5-T scanner using a train of three preparation pulses at -3000 Hz off resonance with 0.5 W of peak power deposition in tissue. One subject was scanned at multiple time points after initiation of drug therapy. Magnetization transfer signal contrast was quantified using VARPRO-based time domain fitting software. Magnetization transfer signal contrast was quantifiable with mean MT signal depression of 12.5% (SD = 5.0, n = 6). An inverse relationship between brain concentration and the MT signal contrast of fluoxetine was found (r = -.82, Spearman coefficient =.007). This study is the first in vivo application of (19)F MT spectroscopy and the first to demonstrate a quantifiable MT effect for a psychotropic medication in the human brain. Findings suggest that fluoxetine is substantially bound in the brain and that individual differences, inversely related to brain concentration, can be detected in the magnitude of MT contrast.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2001 · Biological Psychiatry
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    ABSTRACT: Children with dyslexia have difficulty learning to recognize written words owing to subtle deficits in oral language related to processing sounds and accessing words automatically. The purpose of this study was to compare regional changes in brain lactate between dyslexic children and control subjects during oral language activation. Brain lactate metabolism was measured during four different cognitive tasks (three language tasks and one nonlanguage task) in six dyslexic boys and in seven control subjects (age- and IQ-matched right-handed boys who are good readers) using a fast MR spectroscopic imaging technique called proton echo-planar spectroscopic imaging (1-cm3 voxel resolution). The area under the N-acetylaspartate (NAA) and lactate peaks was measured to calculate the lactate/NAA ratio in each voxel. Dyslexic boys showed a greater area of brain lactate elevation (2.33+/-SE 0.843 voxels) as compared with the control group (0.57+/-SE 0.30 voxels) during a phonological task in the left anterior quadrant. No significant differences were observed in the nonlanguage tasks. Dyslexic and control children differ in brain lactate metabolism when performing language tasks, but do not differ in nonlanguage auditory tasks.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 1999 · American Journal of Neuroradiology
  • Wayne L. Strauss · Matthew E. Layton · Stephen R. Dager
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    ABSTRACT: We developed a two-compartment pharmacokinetic model to systematically characterize 19F magnetic resonance spectroscopy (19F MRS) data on the concentration time course of psychotropic compounds measured in human brain. Using this model, brain volume of distribution and clearance were calculated for fluvoxamine as an index compound. Our interest in formalizing a multicompartment model was motivated by recent advances in the field of brain spectroscopy that allow the noninvasive characterization of brain uptake and elimination half-lives of fluorinated psychotropic compounds. Differences between central compartment single-dose and steady-state half-lives and the peripheral elimination half-life at steady state were used to formulate the model. Application of the model is illustrated using previously published data on the elimination half-lives of fluvoxamine from plasma and brain at steady state, along with the literature values for single-dose plasma elimination half-life. Applying the model, brain volume of distribution (1.12 L/kg +/- 0.2 SEM) and clearance (1.01 L/hour +/- 0.12 SEM) were calculated for fluvoxamine. The bioavailability of fluvoxamine to the brain from plasma was 1.85 +/- 0.23 SEM. The underlying multicompartment pharmacokinetics of fluvoxamine were reflected by the difference between brain and plasma elimination half-lives from steady state. This method to derive pharmacokinetic parameters using 19F MRS measurements of drug concentration in brain can be applied to characterize the pharmacokinetics of other fluorinated psychotropic compounds.
    No preview · Article · Jun 1999 · Biological Psychiatry
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    ABSTRACT: Since there is limited information concerning caffeine's metabolic effects on the human brain, the authors applied a rapid proton echo-planar spectroscopic imaging technique to dynamically measure regional brain metabolic responses to caffeine ingestion. They specifically measured changes in brain lactate due to the combined effects of caffeine's stimulation of glycolysis and reduction of cerebral blood flow. Nine heavy caffeine users and nine caffeine-intolerant individuals, who had previously discontinued or substantially curtailed use of caffeinated products because of associated anxiety and discomforting physiological arousal, were studied at baseline and then during 1 hour following ingestion of caffeine citrate (10 mg/kg). To assess state-trait contributions and the effects of caffeine tolerance, five of the caffeine users were restudied after a 1- to 2-month caffeine holiday. The caffeine-intolerant individuals, but not the regular caffeine users, experienced substantial psychological and physiological distress in response to caffeine ingestion. Significant increases in global and regionally specific brain lactate were observed only among the caffeine-intolerant subjects. Reexposure of the regular caffeine users to caffeine after a caffeine holiday resulted in little or no adverse clinical reaction but significant rises in brain lactate which were of a magnitude similar to that observed for the caffeine-intolerant group. These results provide direct evidence for the loss of caffeine tolerance in the human brain subsequent to caffeine discontinuation and suggest mechanisms for the phenomenon of caffeine intolerance other than its metabolic effects on elevating brain lactate.
    No preview · Article · Mar 1999 · American Journal of Psychiatry
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    ABSTRACT: A fast, proton echo-planar spectroscopic imaging (PEPSI) technique, capable of simultaneously measuring metabolites from multiple brain regions, was used to investigate the anatomical distribution and magnitude of brain lactate responses to intravenous lactate infusion among subjects with panic disorder and control subjects. Fifteen subjects with panic disorder and 10 control subjects were studied. All subjects were medication free and met DSM-IV criteria for panic disorder, or, for controls, no Axis I psychiatric disorder. Two-dimensional axial metabolite images having 1-cm3 spatial resolution were acquired at 61/2-minute intervals during 3 conditions: a 20-minute baseline, 20-minute 0.5-mol/L sodium lactate infusion, and 15-minute postinfusion period. Intravenous lactate infusion increased brain lactate levels throughout the axial brain section studied in all subjects. Panic-disordered subjects had significantly greater global brain lactate increases in response to lactate infusion. Lateralization of brain lactate response did not occur, nor were discrete regional loci of elevated lactate observed. Cerebrospinal fluid lactate changes corresponded to lactate changes in brain tissue. Severity of symptoms provoked by lactate infusion did not directly correlate with brain lactate response. Greater overall rises in brain lactate among subjects with panic disorder compared with controls occurred in response to lactate infusion. We were unable to detect a distinct regional pattern for magnitude differences in brain lactate rise by which to identify a specific neuroanatomical substrate underlying a lactate-induced panic response. The wide anatomical distribution of these brain lactate increases suggest metabolic and/or neurovascular mechanisms for the abnormal rise in subjects with panic disorder.
    No preview · Article · Feb 1999 · Archives of General Psychiatry
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    Wayne L. Strauss · Matthew E. Layton · Stephen R. Dager
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    ABSTRACT: This study used fluorine-19 magnetic resonance spectroscopy (19F MRS) to characterize the elimination of fluvoxamine from the human brain after abrupt drug discontinuation. The elimination half-lives of fluvoxamine in brain and plasma were determined to assess their interdependence and the relationship of brain half-life to the clinical practice of drug holidays and reports of acute withdrawal symptoms. Six subjects completing clinical treatment with fluvoxamine were enrolled in the study. Spectroscopic quantification of whole brain fluvoxamine concentrations and chromatographic determination of plasma fluvoxamine levels were performed serially for up to 10 days after drug withdrawal. Psychiatric evaluation to assess withdrawal symptoms was also done at each scanning session. Elimination of fluvoxamine in the brain and plasma was optimally described by first-order kinetics; the mean elimination half-lives were 58 hours and 26 hours, respectively. The mean ratio of fluvoxamine brain elimination half-life to plasma half-life was 2.4. Three of the six subjects experienced mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms between the third and fifth days of the study, which corresponded to between one and two brain half-lives of fluvoxamine. The brain elimination half-life for fluorinated psychotropic compounds can be measured noninvasively by 19F MRS. The elimination half-life of fluvoxamine was found to be substantially longer for the brain than for plasma. The time course of withdrawal symptom onset and the rationale for drug holidays with fluvoxamine appear to be well explained by the brain elimination half-life.
    Preview · Article · Mar 1998 · American Journal of Psychiatry
  • Stephen R Dager · Todd Richards · Wayne Strauss · Alan Artru
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    ABSTRACT: Intravenous sodium lactate infusion is a robust laboratory technique for eliciting panic in susceptible individuals. The objective for this study was to replicate previous work which found differential brain lactate rises among lactate-sensitive panic subjects relative to control subjects using single-voxel 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). Single-voxel 1H-MRS was used to measure brain lactate changes in the insular cortex region among 13 panic disorder subjects and 10 healthy control subjects during the infusion. One panic subject prematurely terminated the study due to a panic response during lactate infusion. Data from two additional control subjects and one panic subject were lost due to technical problems. Four panic subjects were reinfused with lactate while panic-free under treatment with fluoxetine (20 mg/day). At the time of initial infusion, all subjects were medication-free for at least 1 month. Ten panic subjects, but no control subjects, panicked during lactate infusion. In comparison to control subjects, panic subjects demonstrated significantly greater and prolonged brain lactate rises in the insular cortex region. Three of four medicated panic subjects experienced blockage of panic symptoms during lactate reinfusion but all exhibited persistent excesses in brain lactate rise. Consistent with our prior observations, greater and prolonged lactate rises in the insular brain region occur during and following lactate infusion among panic subjects compared to control subjects. This differential brain metabolic response did not appear to normalize when a small subset of panic patients were reinfused following resolution of panic symptoms during treatment over 3-4 months with fluoxetine.
    No preview · Article · Dec 1997 · Psychiatry Research
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    W L Strauss · M E Layton · C E Hayes · S R Dager
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate the pharmacokinetics of fluvoxamine in the human brain by using fluorine-19 magnetic resonance spectroscopy (19F MRS) and to assess the relationships among fluvoxamine brain levels, fluvoxamine plasma levels, and clinical efficacy. Eight subjects with DSM-IV obsessive-compulsive disorder were entered into a prospective, open-label treatment trial of fluvoxamine. 19F MRS measurements of whole brain drug and metabolite concentrations and spin-lattice (T1) relaxation times were performed serially in seven subjects for up to 5 months. A psychiatric determination of clinical response and a blood sample for plasma fluvoxamine measurement were obtained at each 19F MRS session. The subjects achieved steady-state brain concentrations of fluvoxamine within 30 days after consistent daily dosing, as determined by stabilization of brain fluvoxamine concentrations. The mean brain-to-plasma ratio at steady state was 24 to 1. Brain fluvoxamine T1 values from 140 to 230 msec were observed. All but one subject experienced substantial improvement in symptoms. The one nonresponder exhibited several-fold higher plasma and brain fluvoxamine levels. Brain fluvoxamine levels were substantially higher than plasma levels. Steady-state brain levels correlated to plasma levels but not to dose. Systematic assessment of treatment response in relation to brain or plasma fluvoxamine level was not feasible because of the marked and rapid clinical response during open-label treatment. These data suggest that fluvoxamine attains brain steady-state levels substantially faster than fluoxetine, with corresponding clinical implications.
    Full-text · Article · May 1997 · American Journal of Psychiatry

  • No preview · Article · Mar 1996 · Biological Psychiatry
  • Strauss W · Dager S.R · Layton M.L · Hayes C

    No preview · Article · Mar 1996 · Biological Psychiatry
  • W L Strauss · J S Tsuruda · T L Richards
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    ABSTRACT: MRS techniques can aide in confirming the location of seizure foci in temporal lobe epilepsy. N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), creatine plus phosphocreatine, choline-containing compounds, and lactate are most often the clinically relevant metabolites in these studies. We examined the importance of partial volume effects from tissue heterogeneity in temporal lobe spectroscopy on the metabolite ratios. Our study shows that localized spectroscopy, using three different voxel sizes, centered on the anterior body of the hippocampus, produces significantly different values for the NAA to the creatine ratio. The spectroscopy was performed at 1.5 T using the PRESS pulse sequence and a phased-array coil system specifically designed for the temporal lobe. The data exhibits a clear trend of increasing NAA to creatine ratios with increasing voxel size. This trend demonstrates that partial volume effects can contribute to variation of NAA to creatine ratios in healthy subjects.
    No preview · Article · Jul 1995 · Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate differential effects of hyperventilation on brain lactate in patients with panic disorder and comparison subjects as a possible mechanism for explaining previous observations of an excess rise in brain lactate among panic disorder subjects during lactate infusion. Seven treatment-responsive patients with panic disorder and seven healthy comparison subjects were studied with proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy to measure brain lactate during controlled, voluntary hyperventilation over a period of 20 minutes. Hyperventilation was regulated with the use of capnometry to maintain end-tidal PCO2 at approximately 20 mm Hg during the period of hyperventilation. Blood lactate was measured prior to and at the end of hyperventilation. At baseline the two groups had similar brain lactate levels. Panic disorder subjects exhibited significantly greater rises in brain lactate than comparison subjects in response to the same level of hyperventilation. Blood lactate levels before and after 20 minutes of hyperventilation were not significantly different between groups. Controlled hyperventilation increases brain lactate and does so disproportionately in subjects with panic disorder. This increase in brain lactate may result from decreased cerebral blood flow due to hypocapnia, and individuals with panic disorder may have greater sensitivity to this regulatory mechanism.
    No preview · Article · Jun 1995 · American Journal of Psychiatry

Publication Stats

394 Citations
126.24 Total Impact Points


  • 1995-2002
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • • Department of Psychology
      • • Department of Radiology
      • • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
      • • Department of Bioengineering
      Seattle, Washington, United States