Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Imaging Biomarker Predicts Response to Rapid Antidepressant

Published: Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Last Updated: Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Signals dysfunction in brain system targeted by scopolamine - NIH study.

A telltale boost of activity at the back of the brain while processing emotional information predicted whether depressed patients would respond to an experimental rapid-acting antidepressant, a National Institutes of Health study has found.

"We have discovered a potential neuroimaging biomarker that may eventually help to personalize treatment selection by revealing brain-based differences between patients," explained Maura Furey, Ph.D., of NIH's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Furey, NIMH's Carlos Zarate, M.D., and colleagues, reported on their functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study of a pre-treatment biomarker for the antidepressant response to scopolamine (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/science-news/2006/nimh-researchers-discover-medications-antidepressant-potential.shtml), Jan. 30, 2013, online in JAMA Psychiatry.

Scopolamine, better known as a treatment for motion sickness, has been under study (http://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_description.cfm?aid=8556944&icde=15145736&ddparam=&ddvalue=&ddsub=&cr=2&csb=default&cs=ASC) since Furey and colleagues discovered its fast-acting antidepressant properties in 2006.

Unlike ketamine (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/science-news/2012/brain-signal-ids-responders-to-fast-acting-antidepressant.shtml), scopolamine works through the brain's acetylcholine chemical messenger system.

The NIMH team's research has demonstrated that by blocking receptors for acetylcholine on neurons, scopolamine can lift depression in many patients within a few days; conventional antidepressants typically take weeks to work. But not all patients respond, spurring interest in a predictive biomarker.

The acetylcholine system plays a pivotal role in working memory, holding information in mind temporarily, but appears to act by influencing the processing of information rather than through memory.

Imaging studies suggest that visual working memory performance can be enhanced by modulating acetylcholine-induced activity in the brain's visual processing area, called the visual cortex, when processing information that is important to the task.

Since working memory performance can predict response to conventional antidepressants and ketamine, Furey and colleagues turned to a working memory task and imaging visual cortex activity as potential tools to identify a biomarker for scopolamine response.

Depressed patients have a well-known tendency to process and remember negative emotional information. The researchers propose that this bias stems from dysregulated acetylcholine systems in some patients.

They reasoned that such patients would show aberrant visual cortex activity in response to negative emotional features of a working memory task. They also expected to find that patients with more dysfunctional acetylcholine systems would respond better to scopolamine treatment.

Before receiving scopolamine, participants performed a working memory task while their brain activity was monitored via fMRI. For some trials, it required that they pay attention to, and remember, the emotional expression (sad, happy, etc.) of faces flashing on a computer monitor.

For other trials, they had to pay attention to only the identity, or non-emotional feature, of the faces. After scanning, and over the following several weeks, 15 patients with depression and 21 healthy participants randomly received infusions of a placebo (salt solution) and/or scopolamine. Mood changes were monitored with depression rating scales.

Overall, scopolamine treatment reduced depression symptoms by 63 percent, with 11 of the patients showing a significant clinical response.

The strength of this response correlated significantly with visual cortex activity during key phases of the working memory task - while participants were paying attention to the emotional content of the faces. There was no such correlation for trials when they attended to the identity of the faces.

The findings suggest that acetylcholine system activity drives visual cortex activity that predicts treatment response - and that differences seen between depressed patients and controls may be traceable to acetylcholine dysfunction.

Overall, patients showed lower visual cortex activity than controls during the emotion phase of the task. Patients showing activity levels most dissimilar to controls experienced the greatest antidepressant response to scopolamine treatment.

Visual cortex activity in patients who didn't respond to scopolamine more closely resembled that of controls. As hypothesized, the pretreatment level of visual cortex activity appears to reflect the extent of patients' acetylcholine system dysfunction and to predict their response to the experimental medication, say the researchers.

Preliminary evidence suggests that such visual cortex activity in response to emotional stimuli may also apply to other treatments and may prove to be a shared biomarker of rapid antidepressant response, according to Furey.

The mission of the NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery and cure.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,300+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,900+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

New Medication Shows Promise Against Liver Fibrosis in Animal Studies
Liver fibrosis is a gradual scarring of the liver that puts people at risk for progressive liver disease and liver failure.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
NIH Begins Yellow Fever Vaccine Trial
NIH has initiated an early-stage clinical trial of a vaccine to protect against yellow fever.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Targeting Autoimmunity
Researchers have developed a strategy to treat a rare autoimmune disease which could lead to treatments of other autoimmune diseases.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Molecule May Affect Gaucher, Parkinson's Disease
Research has identified a molecule that restores activity of a dysfunctional enzyme linked to Gaucher and Parkinson's disease.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Uncovering Rhinovirus C Structure
Researchers have determined the structure of rhinovirus C. Their findings may aid the development of antiviral therapies and vaccines.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Vaccine Strategy Targets Multiple Influenza Viruses
Scientists have identified vaccine-induced antibodies that can neutralize strains of influenza virus that infect humans.
Monday, July 25, 2016
Connectome Map More Than Doubles Human Cortex’s Known Regions
Researchers at NIH have developed software that automatically detects the “fingerprint” of each of these areas in an individual’s brain scans.
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Uncovering a New Principle in Chemotherapy Resistance in Breast Cancer
The NIH study has revealed an entirely unexpected process for acquiring drug resistance that bypasses the need to re-establish DNA damage repair in breast cancers that have mutant BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Brain Circuits Helps People Cope With Stress
Researchers at NIH have identified brain patterns in humans that appear to underlie “resilient coping,” to stress that help some people handle stressful situations better than others.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
NIH Investment Into HIV Research Expands
Funding has been awarded to six research teams to lead collaborative investigations worldwide toward an HIV cure.
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Treatment Advancement for Gaucher and Parkinson's Diseases
NIH scientists identify molecule that may act as a possible treatment of neurological diseases.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Use it or Lose it: Visual Activity Regenerates Links Between Eye, Brain
The mouse study is first to show visual stimulation helps re-wire visual system and partially restores sight.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
NIH Funds Million-Person Medicine Study
NIH announces $55million in awards to build foundations for ambitious Cohort Program that aims to engage 1 million participants in lifestyle, environments and genetics research.
Friday, July 08, 2016
Largest-Ever Study of Breast Cancer Genetics in Black Women
The study will identify genetic factors that may underlie breast cancer disparities.
Thursday, July 07, 2016
NIH-Funded Center to Study Inefficiencies in Clinical Trials
Researchers at the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) and Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) have received a major federal grant to study how multisite clinical trials of new drugs and therapies in children and adults can be conducted more rapidly and efficiently.
Thursday, July 07, 2016
Scientific News
Breakthrough Flu Vaccine Inhibited by Pre-existing Antibodies
Universal truths – how existing antibodies are sabotaging the most promising new human flu vaccines.
Liquid Biopsies: Miracle Diagnostic or Next New Fad?
Thanks to the development of highly specific gene-amplification and sequencing technologies liquid biopsies access more biomarkers relevant to more cancers than ever before.
New Medication Shows Promise Against Liver Fibrosis in Animal Studies
Liver fibrosis is a gradual scarring of the liver that puts people at risk for progressive liver disease and liver failure.
Raw Eggs Deemed Safe to Eat
A report published today by the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) into egg safety has shown a major reduction in the risk from salmonella in UK eggs.
Monitoring TTX Toxin in Shellfish
In a number of small studies, mussels and oysters from the eastern and northern part of the Oosterschelde in Holland were found to contain tetrodotoxin (TTX).
Gene Terapy for Muscle Wasting Developed
New gene therapy could save millions of people suffering from muscle wasting disease.
NIH Begins Yellow Fever Vaccine Trial
NIH has initiated an early-stage clinical trial of a vaccine to protect against yellow fever.
Gene-Editing 'Toolbox' Targets Multiple Genes Simultaneously
Researchers have designed a system that modifies, or edits, multiple genes in a genome at once while minimising unintentional effects.
Detecting Alzheimer's with Smell Test
Odour identification test may offer low-cost alternative for predicting cognitive decline and detecting early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.
Antibody Drug Shows Promise in HIV Treatment
Researchers are a step closer to an alternative HIV treatment that has the potential for lasting effects and less frequent dosing.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,300+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,900+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!