Steen Jakobsen

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

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  • Centre for Psychiatric Research
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Positron Emission Tomography Center
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 [(11)C]mirtazapine. Kinetic parameters of [(11)C]mirtazapine were determined from PET data in selected brain regions by the simplified reference tissue model. RESULTS: Binding potentials of [(11)C]mirtazapine in cerebral cortical regions were lower in depressed nonresponders than in healthy controls. Removal rates of [(11)C]mirtazapine were higher in diencephalic regions of depressed nonresponders than in healthy controls. CONCLUSIONS: PET neuroimaging with [(11)C]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
Pages (from-to)133-140
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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