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Journal Article

Prefrontal resting-state connectivity and antidepressant response: no associations in the ELECT-TDCS trial


Bulubas,  Lucia
IMPRS Translational Psychiatry, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

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Bulubas, L., Padberg, F., Mezger, E., Suen, P., Bueno V, P., Duran, F., et al. (2021). Prefrontal resting-state connectivity and antidepressant response: no associations in the ELECT-TDCS trial. SI, 271(1), 123-134. doi:10.1007/s00406-020-01187-y.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-EA15-9
Functional and structural MRI of prefrontal cortex (PFC) may provide putative biomarkers for predicting the treatment response to transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in depression. A recent MRI study from ELECT-TDCS (Escitalopram versus Electrical Direct-Current Theror Depression Study) showed that depression improvement after tDCS was associated with gray matter volumes of PFC subregions. Based thereon, we investigated whether antidepressant effects of tDCS are similarly associated with baseline resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC). A subgroup of 51 patients underwent baseline rsFC-MRI. All patients of ELECT-TDCS were randomized to three treatment arms for 10 weeks (anodal-left, cathodal-right PFC tDCS plus placebo medication; escitalopram 10 mg/day for 3 weeks and 20 mg/day thereafter plus sham tDCS; and placebo medication plus sham tDCS). RsFC was calculated for various PFC regions and analyzed in relation to the individual antidepressant response. There was no significant association between baseline PFC connectivity of essential structural regions, nor any other PFC regions (after correction for multiple comparisons) and patients' individual antidepressant response. This study did not reveal an association between antidepressants effects of tDCS and baseline rsFC, unlike the gray matter volume findings. Thus, the antidepressant effects of tDCS may be differentially related to structural and functional MRI measurements.