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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2000 Fall;8(4):289-96.

Regional cerebral blood flow in mood disorders, V.: Effects of antidepressant medication in late-life depression.

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  • 1Department of Biological Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY 10032, USA


Twenty elderly outpatients with major depression were treated with either nortriptyline or sertraline. Resting regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was assessed by the planar (133)Xenon inhalation technique after a medication washout and following 6- 9 weeks of antidepressant treatment. At baseline, the depressed sample had reduced rCBF in frontal cortical regions when compared with 20 matched normal-control subjects. After treatment, Responders and Nonresponders differed in the expression of a specific topographic alteration, with Responders manifesting reduced perfusion in frontal regions. These findings are consistent with this group's previous report of reduced rCBF after response to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and suggest a common mechanism of action.

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