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J Neural Transm. 2006 May;113(5):659-70. Epub 2006 Feb 9.

Imaging of serotonin transporters and its blockade by citalopram in patients with major depression using a novel SPECT ligand [123I]-ADAM.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Radiooncology, Campus Virchow, Berlin, Germany.


We studied the midbrain SERT availability in patients with major depression and assessed the relation of SERT occupancy by citalopram to the treatment response. 21 non-medicated patients with major depression and 13 healthy controls were examined by [(123)I]-ADAM SPECT. The midbrain SERT availability (SERT V(3)'') was calculated using individual MRI scans. In 13/21 patients SPECT was repeated 7 days after oral medication with citalopram (10 mg/day). We found no significant difference in the mean midbrain SERT availability between the studied patients with major depression and healthy controls (0.86 +/- 0.27 vs. 0.71 +/- 0.44, p = 0.069). The mean SERT occupancy accounted to 61%. The degree of SERT blockade by citalopram did not correlate with the reduction in HAMD total score. Treatment with low-dosed citalopram caused individually variable occupancy of the midbrain-SERT and a rapid clinical improvement in 54% of the investigated patients.

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