The Ideal Antidepressant May Be an EEG Away. (Decreases in Prefrontal Cordance)

Article excerpt

BALTIMORE -- Electrophysiology research is steadily homing in on ways to take some of the guesswork out of selecting the most effective antidepressants for patients with serious depression.

Among other developments, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, have engineered a method for interpreting quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG) data that help distinguish responders from nonresponders to a certain antidepressant in as little as 48 hours, Dr. Ian Cook said at a conference on clinical electrophysiology sponsored by the EEG and Clinical Neuroscience Society.

Dr. Cook and colleagues studied 51 patients with major depression who participated in one of two randomized controlled trials. In the first trial, 24 patients were assigned to receive either fluoxetine or placebo, while 27 patients in the second trial received either venlafaxine or placebo (Neuropsychopharmacology 27[1]:120-31, 2002).

QEEG recordings were taken at baseline prior to therapy, 48 hours after initiating therapy, and after 1 week on medication or placebo. QEEG findings were then interpreted in terms of cordance values, which are essentially an integration of absolute and relative values from all electrodes. Previous studies have shown that cordance values correlate with cortical perfusion. …