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Facilitation of emotion regulation with a single dose of escitalopram: A randomized fMRI study


Outhred, T and Das, P and Felmingham, KL and Bryant, RA and Nathan, PJ and Malhi, GS and Kemp, AH, Facilitation of emotion regulation with a single dose of escitalopram: A randomized fMRI study, Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 233, (3) pp. 451-457. ISSN 0925-4927 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2015 Elsevier

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2015.07.018


Acute antidepressant administration modulates neural activity consistent with decreases in negative emotion processing bias. However, studies are yet to examine whether treatment facilitates neural activity during reappraisal, an adaptive emotion regulation strategy associated with behavioral treatment response. Here we examine the impact of acute administration on reappraisal of negative stimuli using pharmaco-fMRI. Thirty-six healthy female participants completed two sessions of fMRI scanning, separated by a one-week washout period. A single dose of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, escitalopram (20mg) was administered to participants using a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover design. When participants were administered escitalopram (relative to a placebo) and asked to reappraise negative emotional stimuli, left amygdala activation was decreased and right inferior frontal gyrus (R IFG) activation was increased. Also observed was a greater negative left amygdala-R IFG functional connectivity when participants were administered escitalopram relative to placebo, and this change in connectivity was associated with reductions in subjective ratings of valence and arousal of negative stimuli. Further analysis revealed connectivity modulation across multiple frontal regions. Results suggest that the acute effect of a commonly prescribed antidepressant may include facilitating the regulation of negative emotional stimuli, providing new important leads for models of antidepressant action.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:antidepressant, emotion, emotion regulation, functional connectivity, serotonin, fMRI
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Felmingham, KL (Professor Kim Felmingham)
ID Code:106039
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2016-01-25
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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