Amygdala Subregions Tied to SSRI and Placebo Response in Patients with Social Anxiety Disorder
2012 (English)In: Neuropsychopharmacology, ISSN 0893-133X, E-ISSN 1740-634X, Vol. 37, no 10, 2222-2232 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The amygdala is a key structure in the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders, and a putative target for anxiolytic treatments, Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and placebo seem to induce anxiolytic effects by attenuating amygdala responsiveness. However, conflicting amygdala findings have also been reported. Moreover, the neural profile of responders and nonresponders is insufficiently characterized and it remains unknown whether SSRIs and placebo engage common or distinct amygdala subregions or different modulatory cortical areas. We examined similarities and differences in the neural response to SSRIs and placebo in patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD). Positron emission tomography (PET) with oxygen-15-labeled water was used to assess regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in 72 patients with SAD during an anxiogenic public speaking task, before and after 6-8 weeks of treatment under double-blind conditions. Response rate was determined by the Clinical Global Impression-Improvement scale. Conjunction analysis revealed a common rCBF-attenuation from pre- to post-treatment in responders to SSRIs and placebo in the left basomedial/basolateral and right ventrolateral amygdala. This rCBF pattern con-elated with behavioral measures of reduced anxiety and differentiated responders from nonresponders. However, nonanxiolytic treatment effects were also observed in the amygdala. All subgroups, including nonresponders, showed deactivation of the left lateral part of the amygdala. No rCBF differences were found between SSRI responders and placebo responders. This study provides new insights into the brain dynamics underlying anxiety relief by demonstrating common amygdala targets for pharmacologically and psychologically induced anxiety reduction, and by showing that the amygdala is functionally heterogeneous in anxiolysis.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nature Publishing Group, 2012. Vol. 37, no 10, 2222-2232 p.
amygdala, SSRIs, placebo, SAD, subregions, PET
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject Neuroscience
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-181544DOI: 10.1038/npp.2012.72ISI: 000307796600005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-181544DiVA: diva2:556650