Anhedonia is thought to reflect deficits in reward processing that are associated with abnormal activity in mesocorticolimbic brain regions. It is expressed clinically as a deficit in the interest or pleasure in daily activities. More severe anhedonia in major depressive disorder (MDD) is a negative predictor of antidepressant response. It is unknown, however, whether the pathophysiology of anhedonia represents a viable avenue for identifying biological markers of antidepressant treatment response. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the relationships between reward processing and response to antidepressant treatment using clinical, behavioral, and functional neuroimaging measures. Eighty-seven participants in the first Canadian Biomarker Integration Network in Depression (CAN-BIND-1) protocol received 8 weeks of open-label escitalopram. Clinical correlates of reward processing were assessed at baseline using validated scales to measure anhedonia, and a monetary incentive delay (MID) task during functional neuroimaging was completed at baseline and after 2 weeks of treatment. Response to escitalopram was associated with significantly lower self-reported deficits in reward processing at baseline. Activity during the reward anticipation, but not the reward consumption, phase of the MID task was correlated with clinical response to escitalopram at week 8. Early (baseline to week 2) increases in frontostriatal connectivity during reward anticipation significantly correlated with reduction in depressive symptoms after 8 weeks of treatment. Escitalopram response is associated with clinical and neuroimaging correlates of reward processing. These results represent an important contribution towards identifying and integrating biological, behavioral, and clinical correlates of treatment response. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01655706.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health