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Effect of Valproate and Pregabalin on Human Anxiety-like Behaviour in a Randomised Controlled Trial

Bach, DR; Korn, CW; Vunder, J; Bantel, A; (2018) Effect of Valproate and Pregabalin on Human Anxiety-like Behaviour in a Randomised Controlled Trial. Translational Psychiatryvolume , 8 , Article 157. 10.1038/s41398-018-0206-7. Green open access

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Abstract

Valproate is an anticonvulsant drug with strong preclinical evidence for reducing anxiety behaviour in rodents but no clear clinical evidence. To motivate clinical trials, we here investigate the use of valproate in a translational human model of anxiety behaviour. In a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial, n = 118 healthy participants played a previously validated approach/avoidance conflict computer game to measure anxiety-like behaviour, while under 400 mg valproate, under 200 mg of the established anxiolytic/anticonvulsant pregabalin, or under placebo. Saccadic peak velocity and subjective ratings were assessed to control for drug-induced sedation. Compared to placebo, valproate and pregabaline were anxiolytic in the primary outcome, and several secondary outcomes. Bayesian model comparison decisively demonstrated no differences between the two drugs. Subjective and objective sedation was significantly more pronounced under pregabalin than valproate, but did not explain anxiolytic effects. We demonstrate acute anxiolytic properties of valproate in healthy humans. Both drugs have similar anxiolytic properties at the doses used. Valproate is less sedative than pregabalin. Our results suggest clinical trials on the use of valproate in anxiolytic treatment. More generally, we propose a strategy of screening drugs in human preclinical models that can directly be compared across species, such as the approach/avoidance conflict computer game used here. This approach could thus facilitate translational anxiety research.

Type: Article
Title: Effect of Valproate and Pregabalin on Human Anxiety-like Behaviour in a Randomised Controlled Trial
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41398-018-0206-7
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-018-0206-7
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10060597
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