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Int J Psychophysiol. 2014 Aug;93(2):204-10. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2014.04.006. Epub 2014 Apr 24.

Heart rate variability and treatment outcome in major depression: a pilot study.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Brain, Behavior and Pharmacology, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Depression Clinical and Research Program, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Electronic address: felipe.jain@post.harvard.edu.
2
Laboratory of Brain, Behavior and Pharmacology, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Depression Clinical and Research Program, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Los Angeles, USA. Electronic address: icook@ucla.edu.
3
Laboratory of Brain, Behavior and Pharmacology, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Depression Clinical and Research Program, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Electronic address: afl@ucla.edu.
4
Laboratory of Brain, Behavior and Pharmacology, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Depression Clinical and Research Program, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Electronic address: amhunter@ucla.edu.
5
Sholokhov Moscow State University for the Humanities, Russian Institute for Advanced Study, Moscow, Russia; Institute of General Pathology and Pathophysiology RAMS, Moscow, Russia. Electronic address: d.m.davydov@gmail.com.
6
Department of Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy. Electronic address: cristina.ottaviani@uniroma1.it.
7
Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, USA. Electronic address: mtartter@ucla.edu.
8
Laboratory of Brain, Behavior and Pharmacology, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Depression Clinical and Research Program, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
9
Psychophysiology Laboratory, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Electronic address: dshapiro@ucla.edu.

Abstract

Variations in heart rate variability (HRV) have been associated with major depressive disorder (MDD), but the relationship of baseline HRV to treatment outcome in MDD is unclear. We conducted a pilot study to examine associations between resting baseline HRV and MDD treatment outcome. We retrospectively tested several parameters of HRV in an MDD treatment study with escitalopram (ESC, N=26) to generate a model of how baseline HRV related to treatment outcome, and cross-validated the model in a separate trial of MDD treatment with Iyengar yoga (IY, N=16). Lower relative power of very low frequency (rVLF) HRV at baseline predicted improvement in depressive symptoms when adjusted for age and gender (R2>.43 and p<0.05 for both trials). Although vagal parasympathetic measures were correlated with antidepressant treatment outcome, their predictive power was not significant after adjusting for age and gender. In conclusion, baseline resting rVLF was associated with depression treatment outcome in two independent MDD treatment studies. These results should be interpreted with caution due to limited sample size, but a strength of this study is its validation of the rVLF predictor in an independent sample. rVLF merits prospective confirmation as a candidate biomarker.

KEYWORDS:

Escitalopram; Heart rate variability; Major depressive disorder; Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor; Very low frequency; Yoga

PMID:
24769434
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2014.04.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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