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J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2003 Dec;23(6):563-7.

5-HTTLPR polymorphism of the serotonin transporter gene predicts non-remission in major depression patients treated with citalopram in a 12-weeks follow up study.

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  • 1Unitat d'Antropologia, Departament de Biologia Animal, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.


In the context of a long term follow-up study, we analysed the possible implication of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism at the serotonin transporter gene in clinical response and remission of major depressive patients treated with citalopram. The sample consisted of 131 patients, all of Spanish origin, diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria. A 21-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) was used to evaluate severity of the symptoms during the follow-up and to determine clinical response and remission condition of the patients at 4th and 12th week, respectively. Our results showed that S/S genotype of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism was associated with the non-Remission condition at 12th week (chi2 = 8.7, P = 0.013). Moreover, homozygous for the allele S presented three times more risk for non reaching remission of depressive episode after citalopram treatment than patients with any other 5-HTTLPR genotype combination (chi2: 7.29, P = 0.006; OR = 3.23 [95%CI: 1.24-8.5]). In conclusion, our results show that genetic variation of serotonin transporter is involved in clinical remission of major depressive episodes after twelve weeks of citalopram treatment.

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