Both Serum Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Interleukin-6 Levels Are Not Associated with Therapeutic Response to Lamotrigine Augmentation Therapy in Treatment-Resistant Depressive Disorder
Background/Aims: Serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were prospectively monitored in relation with therapeutic response to lamotrigine augmentation therapy in 46 (15 males and 31 females) inpatients with treatment-resistant depressive disorder during an 8-week treatment with lamotrigine using an open-study design. Methods: The subjects were 46 depressed patients who had already shown insufficient response to at least 3 psychotropics including antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and atypical antipsychotics. The diagnoses were major depressive disorder ( n = 19), bipolar I disorder ( n = 6), and bipolar II disorder ( n = 22). The final doses of lamotrigine were 100 mg/day for 26 subjects who were not taking valproate and 75 mg/day for 20 subjects taking valproate, respectively. Depressive symptoms were evaluated by the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) before and after the 8-week treatment. Blood sampling was performed before the start of lamotrigine treatment and at week 8. Serum BDNF and IL-6 levels were measured using quantitative sandwich enzyme immunoassays. Results: No significant changes in serum BDNF or IL-6 levels during the 8-week lamotrigine treatment were observed in the total of subjects, responders or nonresponders. There was no significant correlation between the changes in serum BDNF or IL-6 levels and the percent improvement in MADRS scores in the overall subjects. Conclusion: The present study suggests that the acute effect of lamotrigine augmentation therapy for a major depressive episode is not related to either BDNF or IL-6, at least in patients with treatment-resistant depressive disorder.
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