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Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2010 May;20(5):301-9. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2009.09.006. Epub 2009 Oct 24.

Neuropeptide Y (NPY) gene: Impact on emotional processing and treatment response in anxious depression.

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  • 1Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Muenster, Germany.


Neuropeptide Y (NPY) has been found to play a role in the pathomechanism of both anxiety and depression. Thus, NPY is a promising candidate in the investigation of the clinical phenotype of "anxious depression". Five NPY gene variants were investigated for an influence on antidepressant treatment response in a sample of 256 patients with depression. Additionally, NPY gene impact on amygdala activation during facial emotion processing was analyzed in a subsample of 35 depressed patients. Particularly in anxious depression, the less active NPY rs16147 -399C allele conferred slow response after 2weeks and failure to achieve remission after four weeks of treatment. The rs16147 C allele was further associated with stronger bilateral amygdala activation in response to threatening faces in an allele-dose fashion. The present results point towards a possible influence of functional NPY gene variation on antidepressant treatment response in anxious depression, potentially conveyed by altered emotional processing.

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