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Ketamine modulates fronto-striatal circuitry in depressed and healthy individuals

Mkrtchian, A; Evans, JW; Kraus, C; Yuan, P; Kadriu, B; Nugent, AC; Roiser, JP; (2020) Ketamine modulates fronto-striatal circuitry in depressed and healthy individuals. Molecular Psychiatry 10.1038/s41380-020-00878-1. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Ketamine improves motivation-related symptoms in depression but simultaneously elicits similar symptoms in healthy individuals, suggesting that it might have different effects in health and disease. This study examined whether ketamine affects the brain’s fronto-striatal system, which is known to drive motivational behavior. The study also assessed whether inflammatory mechanisms—which are known to influence neural and behavioral motivational processes—might underlie some of these changes. These questions were explored in the context of a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial of ketamine in 33 individuals with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder (TRD) and 25 healthy volunteers (HVs). Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) was acquired 2 days post-ketamine (final sample: TRD n = 27, HV n = 19) and post-placebo (final sample: TRD n = 25, HV n = 18) infusions and was used to probe fronto-striatal circuitry with striatal seed-based functional connectivity. Ketamine increased fronto-striatal functional connectivity in TRD participants toward levels observed in HVs while shifting the connectivity profile in HVs toward a state similar to TRD participants under placebo. Preliminary findings suggest that these effects were largely observed in the absence of inflammatory (C-reactive protein) changes and were associated with both acute and sustained improvements in symptoms in the TRD group. Ketamine thus normalized fronto-striatal connectivity in TRD participants but disrupted it in HVs independently of inflammatory processes. These findings highlight the potential importance of reward circuitry in ketamine’s mechanism of action, which may be particularly relevant for understanding ketamine-induced shifts in motivational symptoms.

Type: Article
Title: Ketamine modulates fronto-striatal circuitry in depressed and healthy individuals
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41380-020-00878-1
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-020-00878-1
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/.
Keywords: Depression, Diagnostic markers
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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 > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10110518
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