Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 271
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825514

The effect of mirtazapine on cerebrovascular reactivity – A randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study in healthy volunteers

N Schwertfeger 1, P Neu 1, I Heuser 1
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Free University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany

There is growing evidence that depression might increase the risk of stroke. One possible link between depression and stroke could be cerebrovascular reactivity, which reflects the compensatory dilatory capacity of cerebral arterioles to an dilatory stimulus. In a pilot study we found significantly reduced CVR in unmedicated depressed patients compared with healthy volunteers. Since the effects of psychotropic medication on CVR have not been studied so far, we conducted the first controlled study investigating the effects of an antidepressant on CVR. Healthy, non-smoking male volunteers participated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled protocol. They received 30mg mirtazapine or placebo for 10 days. CVR was measured by Doppler sonography before starting with and the day after receiving last medication. Results of this study will be presented.