EEG abnormalities are not associated with poor antidepressant treatment outcome - A NeuroPharm study

Kristian H Reveles Jensen*, Olalla Urdanibia-Centelles, Vibeke H Dam, Kristin Köhler-Forsberg, Vibe G Frokjaer, Gitte M Knudsen, Martin B Jørgensen, Cheng T Ip

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde


EEG brain abnormalities, such as slowing and isolated epileptiform discharges (IEDs), has previously been associated with non-response to antidepressant treatment with escitalopram and venlafaxine, suggesting a potential need for treatment with anticonvulsant property in some patients. The current study aims to replicate the reported association of EEG abnormality and treatment outcomes in an open-label trial of escitalopram for major depressive disorder (MDD) and explore its relationship to mood and cognition. Pretreatment, 6 min eyes-closed resting-state 256-channel EEG was recorded in 91 patients with MDD (age 18-57) who were treated with 10-20 mg escitalopram for 12 weeks; patients could switch to duloxetine after four weeks. A certified clinical neurophysiologist rated the EEGs. IED and EEG slowing was seen in 13.2%, and in 6.6% there were findings with unclear significance (i.e., Wicket spikes and theta activity). We saw no group-difference in remission or response rates after 8 and 12 weeks of treatment or switching to duloxetine. Patients with EEG abnormalities had higher pretreatment mood disturbances driven by greater anger (p=.039) and poorer verbal memory (p=.012). However, EEG abnormality was not associated with improved mood or verbal memory after treatment. Our findings should be interpreted in light of the rarity of EEG abnormalities and the sample size. While we cannot confirm that EEG abnormalities are associated with non-response to treatment, including escitalopram, abnormal EEG activity is associated with poor mood and verbal memory. The clinical utility of EEG abnormality in antidepressant treatment selection needs careful evaluation before deciding if useful for clinical implementation.

TidsskriftEuropean neuropsychopharmacology : the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Sider (fra-til)59-65
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2024


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