PET Biomarkers in Treatment Resistant Depression

2014-08-27 03:17:18 | BioPortfolio


The primary objectives of the study are to test whether brain Mono Amine Oxidase-A (MAO-A) levels are elevated in patients with treatment-resistant major depression, and to explore whether MAO-A brain levels predict treatment outcome with Mono Amine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI) medication in this population.


While Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is prevalent and disabling, compelling recent data from the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study indicate that only about half of patients attain remission from MDD, even after multiple antidepressant medication trials. Further, no biomarker has been validated which can select an effective treatment for such patients, presenting critical unmet intellectual and clinical challenges. The recent landmark finding of an markedly elevated level of monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) in the brains of depressed patients with MDD compared to controls, using positron emission tomography (PET) with a [11C] labeled monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), has provided an unparalleled opportunity to address these challenges. It has long been known that MAOIs are effective for some patients with treatment-resistant MDD, although their side effect profile makes them highly unacceptable both to patients and physicians, severely curtailing their utility.

This study seeks to: 1) replicate this study using PET scans in 20 subjects with MDD but extending it to patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD). (Results from these participants with be compared to those from 10 non-depressed controls who have participated in IRB #5461 "Quantifying Cerebral Monoamine Oxidase-A Enzyme Activity by PET with [11C] methoxymethylpyridoindole: Test-retest and fMRI Correlation"); 2) explore the correlation of the brain MAO-A level biomarker to treatment outcome by treating the 20 PET-imaged TRD patients with an MAOI, hypothesizing that their MAOI response will be related to their level of MAO-A. Brain MAO-A is an ideal candidate biomarker for this study since it appears to be significantly abnormally elevated in MDD, yet it has a broad range of values even among depressed patients. Most importantly, the MAO-A biomarker is known to be the single pharmacologic target of the treatment, making it appear likely that outcome with MAOI treatment will be related to MAO-A.

Study Design

Allocation: Non-Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment


Major Depressive Disorder




New York State Psychiatric Institute
New York
New York
United States




New York State Psychiatric Institute

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:17:18-0400

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