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[11C]Mirtazapine binding in depressed antidepressant nonresponders studied by PET neuroimaging

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  • Donald F Smith
  • Bo S Stork
  • Gregers Wegener
  • Mahmoud Ashkanian
  • Steen Jakobsen
  • Dirk Bender
  • Hélène Audrain
  • Karina H Vase
  • Søren B Hansen
  • Poul Videbech
  • Raben Rosenberg
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RATIONALE: Lack of benefit from antidepressant drug therapy is a major source of human suffering, affecting at least 25% of people with major depressive disorder. We want to know whether nonresponse to antidepressants can be linked to aberrant neuroreceptor binding.

OBJECTIVE: This study aims to assess the antidepressant binding in brain regions of depressed nonresponders compared with healthy controls.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Healthy volunteers and depressed subjects who had failed to benefit from at least 2 antidepressant treatments were recruited by newspaper advertisements. All subjects had received no antidepressant medication for at least 2 months before positron emission tomography (PET) that was carried out with [11C]mirtazapine. Kinetic parameters of [11C]mirtazapine were determined from PET data in selected brain regions by the simplified reference tissue model.

RESULTS: Binding potentials of [11C]mirtazapine in cerebral cortical regions were lower in depressed nonresponders than in healthy controls. Removal rates of [11C]mirtazapine were higher in diencephalic regions of depressed nonresponders than in healthy controls.

CONCLUSIONS: PET neuroimaging with [11C]mirtazapine showed aberrant neuroreceptor binding in brain regions of depressed subjects who had failed to benefit from treatment with antidepressant drugs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume206
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)133-40
Number of pages8
ISSN0033-3158
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Adult, Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic/pharmacology, Brain/diagnostic imaging, Carbon Radioisotopes, Depressive Disorder, Major/diagnostic imaging, Drug Resistance, Female, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Mianserin/analogs & derivatives, Middle Aged, Positron-Emission Tomography, Protein Binding

ID: 55791910