Antidepressants are standardly used to treat moderate to severe symptoms of depression and/or anxiety in youth but may also be associated with rare but serious psychiatric adverse events such as irritability, agitation, aggression, or suicidal ideation. Adverse events are especially common in youth with a family history of bipolar disorder (BD) who are at heightened risk for dysfunction in neurobiological systems that regulate emotion and arousal. To further understand this phenomenon, this study will examine (a) baseline risk factors associated with dysfunctional arousal in a sample of youth at high-risk for BD treated with or without an antidepressant, (b) whether antidepressant-related changes in arousal are mediated by changes in prefrontal-limbic circuitry, and (c) whether pharmacogenetic factors influence antidepressant-related changes in arousal. High-risk youth (aged 12-17 years with moderate to severe depressive and/or anxiety symptoms and at least one first-degree relative with bipolar I disorder) will be randomized to receive psychotherapy plus escitalopram or psychotherapy plus placebo. Neuroimaging and behavioral measures of arousal will be collected prior to randomization and at 4 weeks. Samples for pharmacogenetic analysis (serum escitalopram concentration, CYP2C19 metabolizer phenotype, and HTR2A and SLC6A4 genotypes) will be collected at 8 weeks. Youth will be followed for up to 16 weeks to assess change in arousal measures.
View details for DOI 10.3390/jpm12061006
View details for PubMedID 35743790