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J Affect Disord. 2009 May;115(1-2):189-95. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2008.08.003. Epub 2008 Sep 18.

Alteration of frontal EEG asymmetry during tryptophan depletion predicts future depression.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0068, United States. jallen@u.arizona.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Tryptophan depletion (TD) reduces brain serotonin and may induce acute depressive symptomatology, especially among those with a history of Major Depression. Depressive response to TD among euthymic patients with a history of depression also predicts future depression. Better prediction might result by assessing a putative endophenotype for depressive risk, frontal electroencephalographic (EEG) asymmetry, in the context of TD.

METHOD:

Nine euthymic history-positive participants and nine controls were administered TD. Symptomatic and EEG frontal asymmetry data were collected for 6 h following TD, and clinical status was followed for the next 12 months.

RESULTS:

The magnitude of TD-induced change in frontal EEG asymmetry significantly predicted the development of depression during the ensuing six to twelve months, and with greater sensitivity than symptomatic response.

LIMITATIONS:

The results are tempered by the small sample size.

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite the limited sample size, these preliminary results suggest that TD-induced changes in frontal EEG asymmetry may provide a more sensitive indicator of risk for imminent depression than symptomatic response to TD.

PMID:
18801582
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2688527
Free PMC Article
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