Correct the Problem: depression

Serotonin 5-HT2 receptor imaging in major depression:
focal changes in orbito-insular cortex

Biver F, Wikler D, Lotstra F,
Damhaut P, Goldman S, Mendlewicz J
Department of Psychiatry,
Erasme Hospital, Brussels, Beligum.
Br J Psychiatry 1997 Nov; 171:444-8


BACKGROUND: Serotonin receptors may play an important role in the pathophysiology of affective disorders. We studied type-2 serotonin (5-HT2) receptors in the brain of patients with major depression. METHOD: Using positron emission tomography (PET) and the selective radioligand [18F]altanserin, we investigated 5-HT2 receptor distribution in eight drug-free unipolar depressed patients and 22 healthy subjects. Data were analysed using Statistical Parametric Mapping 95. RESULTS: In depressed patients, [18F]altanserin uptake was significantly reduced in a region of the right hemisphere including the posterolateral orbitofrontal cortex and the anterior insular cortex. A trend to similar changes was found in the left hemisphere. No correlation was found between the uptake and the Hamilton rating scale score. CONCLUSIONS: Pathophysiology of depression may involve changes in 5-HT2 receptor in brain regions selectively implicated in mood regulation.

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