Last updated on February 2019

Study of Neural Responses Induced by Antidepressant Effects

Brief description of study

The proposed work aims to examine the neural changes associated with fast-acting antidepressant treatments in order to develop imaging-based biomarkers of treatment response for depression.

Detailed Study Description

Over the past decade, neuroimaging tools have rapidly advanced the field of neural biomarkers of treatment response in depression. Still, despite obvious scientific progress in this field, the ability to implement neuroimaging biomarkers of antidepressant treatment response in clinical trial settings is lacking. In order to objectively asses the neural bases of treatment response in depression, the investigators will use a "Real-time Neurofeedback fMRI task", specifically designed to record and modulate mood improvement by providing neurofeedback in the context of the administration of an antidepressant treatment. In a pilot study, positive neurofeedback during the administration of the drug was associated with significant acute mood improvement and increased blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) responses in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC), a common neural target of antidepressant treatments. The central hypothesis is that antidepressant effects in depression are mediated by increased neural activity in the rACC (AIM1), which can be used in clinical trials of antidepressant treatment to predict antidepressant effects (AIM 2) and assess the effect of antidepressant treatment on antidepressant-induced rACC neural responses (AIM 3). The results obtained from this project are expected to have an important impact on our ability to understand the cognitive and neural mechanisms implicated in antidepressant treatment responses in patients with depression, as well as on the ability to implement neuroimaging biomarkers of treatment response in the clinical trial settings.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02674529

Find a site near you

Start Over


Pittsburgh, PA United States
  Connect »