MRS and Medication Response: A Pilot Study

  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Stanford University
Updated on 20 August 2022
depressed mood
major depressive disorder


We hope to demonstrate that magnetic resonance spectroscopy can detect brain concentration levels of paroxetine (Paxil) or citalopram (Celexa) or escitalopram (Lexapro) in depressed patients.


The primary objective of this study is to demonstrate that it is feasible to image paroxetine (Paxil) or citalopram (Celexa) or escitalopram (Lexapro) brain concentrations using MRS technology in depressed patients.

The longer-term goal is to determine the relationship between clinically administered doses of paroxetine (Paxil) or citalopram (Celexa) or escitalopram (Lexapro) (antidepressants), the amount of drug in the body via blood level, the concentrations of the drug achieved in brain measured via MRS, and genetics.

It has been previously reported that individuals taking 20mg of paroxetine daily had brain paroxetine [(Paxil) levels via MRS ranging from 2-13 micromolar. Similar or slightly higher ranges of brain drug concentrations have been reported for fluoxetine and fluvoxamine.

Since not all depressed patients respond to medications, one reason may be the amount of medication that crosses the blood-brain barrier. This may be influenced by genetic information. We want to examine these issues on a larger scale, but first we need to demonstrate that we can indeed determine paroxetine [(Paxil) or citalopram (Celexa) or escitalopram (Lexapro)] levels via MRS.

Condition Major depression, Endogenous depression, Major Depressive Episode, Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent, Major Depression Mild, Major Depression Moderate, Major Depression Severe, Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent, Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent, major depressive disorder, major depressive disorders, major depressive disorder, single episode, Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03254342
SponsorStanford University
Last Modified on20 August 2022

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