Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 120
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825371

The impact of reboxetine and citalopram on visually-evoked event-related potentials in depressed patients

G Hetzel 1, O Moeller 1, A Erfurth 1, N Michael 1, M Rothermundt 1, V Arolt 1, S Evers 2
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Muenster
  • 2Department of Neurology, University of Muenster

In depression, the P3 latency of event-related potentials (ERP) is increased compared to healthy volunteers [1, 2, 3]. The P3 amplitude has been reported to be reduced [3] or unchanged [1]. We were interested in the impact of different monoamine reuptake inhibitors on ERP. 36 inpatients with major depression were treated with either reboxetine (n=17) or citalopram (n=19) in a prospective randomized study. Before and after four weeks of treatment, visually-evoked ERP were investigated. P3 latency decreased significantly for the total sample (p=0.002) and for the reboxetine (p=0.022) and citalopram (p=0.028) group. P2 latency decreased significantly after treatment with reboxetine (p=0.044). These results show that, in depressed patients, the P3 latency, reflecting certain aspects of cognitive processing, is decreased by antidepressant treatment with citalopram and reboxetin. Further research on the effects of citalopram and reboxetine on ERP in humans is recommended to allow a better understanding of their antidepressant efficacy.

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