Friday, October 31, 2008

Medication insufficient for depression due to traumatic head injury

In a large clinical sample of patients with traumatic brain injury with symptoms of major depression, antidepressant medication has been shown to lead to remission of symptoms in a minority of patients.

"Although citalopram treatment was associated with a statistically significant reduction in depressive symptoms, the results of this study show the response rate in the present sample is substantially lower than previously reported in past research," says Dr. Mark Rapoport, lead investigator of the study and geriatric psychiatrist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. "Our findings suggest that other multidisciplinary treatment modalities will be needed to achieve adequate control of depressive symptoms following traumatic brain injury (TBI)."

The goal of the study was to examine the rates of response and remission in patients treated with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), citalopram in this case, for major depression following TBI.
In the past, open-label studies of SSRIs have shown statistically significant reductions on depression, but methodological problems in the studies and the small samples limited the ability to interpret the results.
Therefore the goal of this study was to assess the response of patients in a larger sample of clinical patients with mild-to-moderate TBI.


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