NeuroPharm study: EEG wakefulness regulation as a biomarker in MDD

J Psychiatr Res. 2021 Jun 18;141:57-65. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2021.06.021. Online ahead of print.


While several electroencephalogram (EEG)-based biomarkers have been proposed as diagnostic or predictive tools in major depressive disorder (MDD), there is a clear lack of replication studies in this field. Markers that link clinical features such as disturbed wakefulness regulation in MDD with neurophysiological patterns are particularly promising candidates for e.g., EEG-informed choices of antidepressive treatment. We investigate if we in an independent MDD sample can replicate abnormal findings of EEG-vigilance regulation during rest and as a predictor for antidepressive treatment response. EEG-resting state was recorded in 91 patients and 35 healthy controls from the NeuroPharm trial. EEG-vigilance was assessed using the Vigilance Algorithm Leipzig (VIGALL). We compared the vigilance regulation during rest between patients and healthy controls and between remitters/responders and non-remitters/non-responders after eight weeks of SSRI/SNRI treatment using two different sets of response criteria (NeuroPharm and iSPOT-D). We replicated previous findings showing hyperstable EEG-wakefulness regulation in patients in comparison to healthy subjects. Responders defined by the iSPOT-D criteria showed a higher propensity toward low vigilance stages in comparison to patients with no response at pretreatment, however, this did not apply when using the NeuroPharm criteria. EEG-wakefulness regulation patterns normalized toward patterns of healthy controls after 8 weeks of treatment. This replication study supports the diagnostic value of EEG-vigilance regulation and its usefulness as a biomarker for the choice of treatment in MDD.

PMID:34175743 | DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2021.06.021

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