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Effectiveness of a quantitative electroencephalographic biomarker for predicting differential response or remission with escitalopram and bupropion in major depressive disorder.

Author(s): Leuchter AF, Cook IA, Gilmer WS, Marangell LB, Burgoyne KS, Howland RH, Trivedi MH, Zisook S, Jain R, Fava M, Iosifescu D, Greenwald S

Affiliation(s): Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1759, USA. afl@ucla.edu

Publication date & source: 2009-09-30, Psychiatry Res., 169(2):132-8. Epub 2009 Aug 26.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

We examined the Antidepressant Treatment Response (ATR) index as a predictor of differential response and remission to escitalopram, bupropion, or a combination of the two medications, in subjects with major depressive disorder (MDD). Three hundred seventy-five subjects had a baseline quantitative electroencephalographic (QEEG) study preceding 1 week of treatment with escitalopram, 10 mg, after which a second QEEG was performed and the ATR index was calculated. Subjects then were randomized to continue escitalopram, switch to bupropion, or receive a combination of the two. Clinical response was assessed using the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale at 49 days of treatment. Accuracy of ATR in predicting response and remission was calculated. There were no significant differences between response and remission rates in the three treatment groups. A single ATR threshold was useful for predicting differential response to either escitalopram or bupropion monotherapy. Subjects with ATR values above the threshold were more than 2.4 times as likely to respond to escitalopram as those with low ATR values (68% vs. 28%). Subjects with ATR values below the threshold who were switched to bupropion treatment were 1.9 times as likely to respond to bupropion alone as those who remained on escitalopram treatment (53% vs. 28%). The ATR index did not provide a useful prediction of response to combination treatment. The ATR index may prove useful in predicting responsiveness to different antidepressant medications.

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