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TNF Antagonist Infliximab for Treatment-Resistant Depression: The Role of Baseline Inflammatory Biomarkers

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TNF Antagonist Infliximab for Treatment-Resistant Depression: The Role of Baseline Inflammatory Biomarkers

Post  Admin on Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:32 pm

A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Tumor Necrosis Factor Antagonist Infliximab for Treatment-Resistant Depression
The Role of Baseline Inflammatory Biomarkers

Source: JAMA Psychiatry. 2013;70(1):31-41

Increased concentrations of inflammatory biomarkers predict antidepressant nonresponse, and inflammatory cytokines can sabotage and circumvent the mechanisms of action of conventional antidepressants.

To determine whether:
- Inhibition of the inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF) reduces depressive symptoms in patients with treatment-resistant depression and
- Whether an increase in baseline plasma inflammatory biomarkers, including high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), TNF, and its soluble receptors, predicts treatment response.

Design Double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial.

Participants A total of 60 medically stable outpatients with major depression who were either on a consistent antidepressant regimen (n = 37) or medication-free (n = 23) for 4 weeks or more and who were moderately resistant to treatment as determined by the Massachusetts General Hospital Staging method.

Interventions Three infusions of the TNF antagonist infliximab (5 mg/kg) (n = 30) or placebo (n = 30) at baseline and weeks 2 and 6 of a 12-week trial.

Main Outcome Measures The 17-item Hamilton Scale for Depression (HAM-D) scores.

- No overall difference in change of HAM-D scores between treatment groups across time was found.
- However, there was a significant interaction between treatment, time, and log baseline hs-CRP concentration (P = .01), with change in HAM-D scores (baseline to week 12) favoring infliximab-treated patients at a baseline hs-CRP concentration > 5 mg/L and favoring placebo-treated patients at a baseline hs-CRP concentration < 5 mg/L.
- Exploratory analyses focusing on patients with a baseline hs-CRP concentration greater than 5 mg/L revealed a treatment response of 62% (8 of 13 patients) in infliximab-treated patients vs 33% (3 of 9 patients) in placebo-treated patients (P = .19).
- Baseline concentrations of TNF and its soluble receptors were significantly higher in infliximab-treated responders vs nonresponders (P < .05), and
- Infliximab-treated responders exhibited significantly greater decreases in hs-CRP from baseline to week 12 compared with placebo-treated responders (P < .01).
- Dropouts and adverse events were limited and did not differ between groups.

This proof-of-concept study suggests that TNF antagonism does not have generalized efficacy in treatment-resistant depression but may improve depressive symptoms in patients with high baseline inflammatory biomarkers.

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