An electroencephalogram will predict whether a particular antidepressant will work for a person
A new study on brain activity allowed scientists to predict the response of the human body to antidepressants. And indirectly predict the effectiveness of their use. The work was carried out within the framework of the EMBARC project (Establish Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response for Clinical Care) on the development of new diagnostic methods.
In the experience with the study of electroencephalograms, 300 patients with a diagnosis of “depressive disorder” who were randomly assigned to either an 8-week course of an antidepressant sertraline hydrochloride or a placebo took part. The EEG recordings were conducted at equal intervals as the whole course of treatment was focused on the activity in the rostral anterior cerebral cortex. According to previous studies, it is clear that it is here that the brightest response of the nervous system to antidepressants is observed.
EEG data formed the basis of a personal profile of patients, and after their analysis, the doctors made predictions of the response of a particular person to an antidepressant that corresponded to clinical observations. The difference is in time for obtaining the results. When studying the EEG, there were enough few weeks to make a reliable conclusion about whether the prescribed drug would be effective. And this gives a chance to timely correct the course of treatment and minimize the risks.
EEG acts as a new, curious biomarker of the patient’s condition, which was not used to establish a diagnosis in the treatment of mental disorders. This is the essence of the EMBARC project – to find and test such biomarkers that will create new, effective diagnostic methods. And they will give an opportunity to predict the reaction of people to drugs, drugs, psychotherapy and other kinds of influence in advance in order to minimize the risk of medical error when choosing a method of treatment.