An investigation of cortical thickness and antidepressant response in major depressive disorder: A CAN-BIND study report
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Major depressive disorder (MDD) is considered a highly heterogeneous clinical and neurobiological mental disorder. We employed a novel layered treatment design to investigate whether cortical thickness features at baseline differentiated treatment responders from non-responders after 8 and 16 weeks of a standardized sequential antidepressant treatment. Secondary analyses examined baseline differences between MDD and controls as a replication analysis and longitudinal changes in thickness after 8 weeks of escitalopram treatment. 181 MDD and 95 healthy comparison (HC) participants were studied. After 8 weeks of escitalopram treatment (10-20 mg/d, flexible dosage), responders (>50% decrease in Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Scale score) were continued on escitalopram; non-responders received adjunctive aripiprazole (2-10 mg/d, flexible dosage). MDD participants were classified into subgroups according to their response profiles at weeks 8 and 16. Baseline group differences in cortical thickness were analyzed with FreeSurfer between HC and MDD groups as well as between response groups. Two-stage longitudinal processing was used to investigate 8-week escitalopram treatment-related changes in cortical thickness. Compared to HC, the MDD group exhibited thinner cortex in the left rostral middle frontal cortex [MNI(X,Y,Z=-29,9,54.5,-7.7); CWP=0.0002]. No baseline differences in cortical thickness were observed between responders and non-responders based on week-8 or week-16 response profile. No changes in cortical thickness was observed after 8 weeks of escitalopram monotherapy. In a two-step 16-week sequential clinical trial we found that baseline cortical thickness does not appear to be associated to clinical response to pharmacotherapy at 8 or 16 weeks.
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