Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Recent neuropsychological studies in healthy volunteers suggest that antidepressants enhance the processing of positive emotional information. However, the neural substrates underpinning these changes have not been fully elucidated. The current study, therefore, used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to map brain systems activated during successful categorization and subsequent recognition of self-referent positive and negative personality characteristics in healthy volunteers following short-term (7 days) repeated administration of the selective noradrenergic reuptake inhibitor reboxetine. Twenty-four healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to 7-day double-blind intervention with reboxetine or placebo. On day 7, neural responses during the categorization and subsequent recognition of positive and negative characteristics were assessed using fMRI. Questionnaires monitoring mood, hostility and anxiety were given before and during this intervention. During categorization, reboxetine was associated with greater activation to positive words, relative to negative words, in left precuneus and right inferior frontal gyrus. By contrast, at subsequent recognition reboxetine was associated with reduced response to positive words, relative to negative words, in left precuneus, anterior cingulate and medial frontal gyrus. These changes in the neural processing of positive and negative words occurred in the absence of significant differences in ratings of mood and anxiety. Such adaptations in the neural processing of emotional information support the hypothesis that antidepressants have early effects on emotional processing in a manner which would be expected to reverse negative biases in depression.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/sj.mp.4002091

Type

Journal article

Journal

Mol Psychiatry

Publication Date

11/2008

Volume

13

Pages

1011 - 1020

Keywords

Adolescent, Adult, Analysis of Variance, Antidepressive Agents, Brain, Brain Mapping, Double-Blind Method, Emotions, Female, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Morpholines, Oxygen, Photic Stimulation, Reaction Time, Young Adult