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Title: The effects of erythropoietin on cognitive and neurobiological function in healthy and depressed subjects.
Author: Miskowiak, Kamilla Woznica
ISNI:       0000 0001 3411 0994
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2007
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Compelling evidence points to a central role of neuroplasticity in the pathophysiology and long-term treatment of depression. Erythropoietin (Epo) has neuroprotective and neurotrophic effects in animal models. The present studies therefore aimed to i'nvestigate the effects of Epo on neurocognitive function in human models to explore the potential Clinical value of Epo in future treatment strategies for depression. The studies demonstrated that a single dose of Epo (40,000 ill) vs. saline in healthy volunteers enhanced memory-relevant hippocampal response, influenced the neural underpinnings of spatial working memory (WM) in a way consistent with enhanced task-relevant strategies and enhanced verbal fluency one week after administration. In contrast, no effects of Epo on memory-related hippocampal response were found on day 3 after administration. At this earlier time, the neuronal underpinnings of spatial WM differed from the effects seen after one week and were not accompanied by enhanced verbal fluency. Given the beneficial effects of Epo one week post administration and the hypothesis that neural plasticity is important for response to antidepressant drug treatment, the effects of Epo on emotional processing in healthy volunteers were assessed 7 and 3 days after Epo vs. saline administration. This revealed that Epo had a remarkably similar profile of effects to serotonergic antidepressants on the processing of emotional information and improved mood for 3 days immediately after administration. Assessment in acutely depressed patients confirmed these antidepressant-like effects of Epo on the neural and cognitive processing of emotional information. Notably, the present effects occurred in the absence of changes in red cell mass, suggesting that they resulted from direct neurobiological actions of Epo. Overall, the results are consistent with neuroadaptive effects of Epo and raise the exciting possibility that Epo may be a candidate agent for future antidepressant treatment strategies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available