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Title: The effect of NMDA receptor antagonists and antidepressants on resting state in major depressive disorder
Author: Dutta, Arpan
ISNI:       0000 0004 4692 1323
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2015
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Introduction: The aim of the project was to investigate the effects of antidepressants on brain networks whilst at rest. My hypothesis was that antidepressants work by reversing persistent activity in the brain’s default mode network (DMN). The DMN is implicated in self-reflection and rumination in MDD. The methodologies and results of studies of resting state networks in MDD and the effects of antidepressants are reviewed in the thesis. Increasing evidence implicates glutamate in the action of antidepressant drugs. Whether there are illness related changes in glutamate function is unresolved, largely because of the lack of techniques for assessing it. Ketamine and other NMDA antagonists have improved MDD symptoms within 24 hours though the effects are short lasting. The molecular neural networks involved in ketamine’s putative antidepressant effects are unclear. The thesis reviews the evidence. Much evidence implicates ACC as a site of action of antidepressant effects but whether this is through its regulation of the DMN or other networks is not known. This thesis compares the effect of ketamine and citalopram on ACC-related systems. Method: The thesis combines two systematic reviews of the effects of MDD and antidepressant drugs on i) resting state networks (53 studies) and ii) glutamate neurotransmission (45 studies of clinical efficacy of ketamine). There are two experimental chapters. The first describes investigation into two rapid acting antidepressant drugs acting via glutamate mechanisms. 54 unmedicated cMDD were scanned across two centres on 3T MRI scanners while being infused with placebo (0.5% saline), 0.5mg/kg ketamine or 100mg AZD6765 over 1 hour. fMRI resting state data between drug treatments was compared for the final 25 minutes of the drug infusion and for a 25 minute resting state scan a day later. The second experimental chapter examines whether these effects were shared by citalopram, a standard antidepressant. 67 unmedicated cMDD, rMDD and HC were administered citalopram 7.5mg i.v. and scanned on a 1.5T MRI scanner. In a second study 63 cMDD and HC were administered i.v. citalopram 7.5mg or placebo (0.5% saline). fMRI resting state data for the final 12 ½ minutes following drug infusion was compared. Independent Component Analysis was performed using the Group ICA for fMRI toolbox. The resting component with the highest spatial correlation to the ACC was used. Brain maps of the intensity of the selected component were constructed for each individual. Group averages were calculated and compared using SPM. Regional analysis was performed using Marseille Boite a Regions d'interet. Results: On day 1 AZD6765 significantly increased mean intensity of ACC resting component in the right insula, right IPL and left cingulate gyrus greater than ketamine or placebo. Ketamine increased mean intensity of ACC resting component greater than placebo in the right lentiform nucleus and left mFG. Significantly decreased mean intensity of ACC resting component in the left insula in the AZD6765 group compared to placebo was noted. On day 2 AZD6765 increased mean intensity of ACC resting component greater than ketamine and placebo in the left and right lentiform nuclei. AZD6765 reduced mean intensity of the ACC resting component in the left and right MFG. The first citalopram study revealed reduced mean intensity of ACC resting component in cMDD compared to rMDD and HC in PCC. rMDD had reduced mean intensity of ACC resting component in the precuneus compared to HC. In the second study, citalopram had no effect in HC but normalised precuneus activity in cMDD producing a significant drug x group interaction. Conclusions: The acute antidepressant effects of citalopram are modulated by changes in the bilateral precuneus. The precuneus is central to connectivity with other regions in MDD. It has a prominent role in the DMN and is linked to rumination. The mechanism of the antidepressant effects of AZD6765 is different from those of ketamine and citalopram. The insula, IPL, MFG, cingulate gyrus and lentiform nuclei are all regions implicated in MDD suggesting antidepressant effects. The rapid antidepressant effects of AZD6765 are possibly due to a resetting of the interface between DMN and salience networks.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (M.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: fMRI ; major depressive disorder ; resting state ; antidepressant ; lanicemine ; ketamine ; citalopram ; anterior cingulate cortex ; NMDA ; glutamate