Effects of citalopram on worry and brain activation in patients with generalized anxiety disorder.

TitleEffects of citalopram on worry and brain activation in patients with generalized anxiety disorder.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsHoehn-Saric R, Schlund MW, Wong SHY
JournalPsychiatry research
Volume131
Issue1
Pagination11-21
Date Published2004 May 30
Abstract

The effects of auditory statements describing a personal worry on brain activation as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging were examined in patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) before and after anxiety reduction with citalopram. Six patients were imaged while listening to verbal descriptions of a personal worry or a neutral statement before treatment with citalopram and after 7 weeks of treatment. Pre-post drug analyses showed treatment with citalopram reduced self-reported anxiety and reduced BOLD responses to a pathology-specific worry and a neutral stimulus. After treatment, worry sentences, compared to neutral statements, elicit reduced BOLD responses in prefrontal regions, the striatum, insula and paralimbic regions. In addition, contrasts before and after treatment revealed reductions in the differential response that existed between worry and neutral statements. Overall reduction of BOLD response was most prominent during neutral statements, particularly in the left hemisphere. These findings support the clinical impression that GAD patients overreact to both pathology-specific and non-specific cues and that the reduction of anxiety attenuates the response to both types of cues.

DOI10.3897/CompCytogen.v7i3.5500
Alternate JournalPsychiatry Res