Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services

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Psychopharmacology 

Electroencephalography Technology for Predicting Response to Antidepressant Medications

Robert H. Howland, MD

  • Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services. 2006;44(10):11-14
  • Posted October 1, 2006

Abstract

EXCERPT

Finding an effective antidepressant agent for a patient is a process of trial and error. Improvement generally requires 4 to 12 weeks of treatment. Patients may stop taking medication too soon because of delayed response or intolerable side effects. Fewer than half of patients achieve full remission on the first drug that is tried. Predicting how a patient might respond to treatment would help identify an effective treatment more quickly, avoid unnecessary medication changes, and encourage treatment adherence. Electroencephalography (EEG) is an old technology used to measure brain waves and diagnose epilepsy. In this article, I describe the use of quantitative EEG (QEEG) for predicting antidepressant treatment response.

Abstract

EXCERPT

Finding an effective antidepressant agent for a patient is a process of trial and error. Improvement generally requires 4 to 12 weeks of treatment. Patients may stop taking medication too soon because of delayed response or intolerable side effects. Fewer than half of patients achieve full remission on the first drug that is tried. Predicting how a patient might respond to treatment would help identify an effective treatment more quickly, avoid unnecessary medication changes, and encourage treatment adherence. Electroencephalography (EEG) is an old technology used to measure brain waves and diagnose epilepsy. In this article, I describe the use of quantitative EEG (QEEG) for predicting antidepressant treatment response.

Authors
Dr. Howland is Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The author acknowledges grant support from Aspect Medical Systems, Inc.

Address correspondence to Robert H. Howland, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, 3811 O’Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213; e-mail: HowlandRH@upmc.edu.

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