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Use of Multiple Brain Imaging Modalities (PET and MRS) to Identify Metabolic Abnormalities in Major Depression

The recruitment status of this study is unknown. The completion date has passed and the status has not been verified in more than two years.
Verified November 2011 by University of Utah.
Recruitment status was:  Recruiting
Western Institute for Biomedical Research
University of Utah
Molecular Imaging Program, Huntsman Cancer Institute
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Paul Carlson, University of Utah Identifier:
First received: November 1, 2011
Last updated: November 3, 2011
Last verified: November 2011
Several lines of evidence support the existence of an underlying abnormality in brain energy metabolism may play a key role in the biology of mood disorders. The current study utilizes two distinct but complementary imaging techniques, FDG PET and multinuclear MRS, to better understand the nature of these metabolic abnormalities in major depressive disorder (MDD). The investigators hypothesize that individuals with depression will have increased metabolic activity as measured by PET in certain brain regions involved in mood regulation, but that this metabolic activity will be inefficient based on MRS findings. For this study, the investigators will study 10 medication-free, currently depressed participants with recurrent MDD, 10 depressed participants with recurrent MDD currently taking antidepressant medication, and up to 20 healthy control participants matched to depressed participants for age and gender. Depressed and healthy participants will each undergo one PET scan and one MRS scanning session.

Major Depressive Disorder

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Case Control
Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
Official Title: Comparison of [F-18] FDG Positron Emission Tomography and Multinuclear (31P and 1H) Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy as Complementary Bioenergetic Imaging Modalities in Healthy Human Brain and Major Depressive Disorder

Further study details as provided by University of Utah:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • high energy phophate metabolites (i.e., ANP and PCr) as measured by magnetic resonance spectroscopy [ Time Frame: cross-sectional ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • regional cerebral glucose metabolism, as measured by FDG PET [ Time Frame: cross-sectional ]
  • NAA metabolite intensity, as measured by proton MRS [ Time Frame: cross-sectional ]
  • severity of depressive symptoms, as scored on the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) [ Time Frame: cross-sectional ]

Estimated Enrollment: 40
Study Start Date: June 2009
Estimated Study Completion Date: May 2012
Estimated Primary Completion Date: May 2012 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Depressed, unmedicated
Participants with MDD who are not treated with any antidepressant medication
Depressed, on antidepressant
Participants with MDD, currently depressed but on a stable dose of an SSRI antidepressant
Healthy control
Healthy participant with no MDD or other psychiatric condition, matched by age and gender to MDD participants


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 55 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
Community sample

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Meet DSM-IV TR criteria for MDD, Recurrent
  • Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) score > 18

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Any coexisting psychiatric illness other than generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or social/specific phobias
  • Any history of substance dependence
  • Substance abuse within the past 6 months
  • Significant risk of suicide, as defined by score >4 on item 10 of the MADRS or in the clinical judgment of the study physician
  • Any significant medical or neurological condition which is likely to impact the central nervous system and/or affect the results of MRS or PET imaging
  • For the subset of unmedicated MDD patients, any psychotropic medications within 4 weeks prior to scanning. For the subgroup of medicated patients, they may be taking a stable dose (i.e., same dose for at least 4 weeks at the time of scanning) of standard antidepressant medications, but may not be taking any other psychotropic medication.
  • Inability to give informed consent
  • Contraindication to MRI (e.g., pacemaker, ferromagnetic implants in the body)
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01465165

Contact: Paul J Carlson, M.D. 801-580-7781

United States, Utah
University of Utah Dept of Psychiatry Recruiting
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, 84112
Contact: Paul J Carlson, M.D.    801-580-7781   
Principal Investigator: Paul J Carlson, M.D.         
Sponsors and Collaborators
Paul Carlson
Western Institute for Biomedical Research
University of Utah
Molecular Imaging Program, Huntsman Cancer Institute
Principal Investigator: Paul J Carlson, M.D. University of Utah
  More Information

Responsible Party: Paul Carlson, Assistant Professor, University of Utah Identifier: NCT01465165     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: WIBR08-PJC
Study First Received: November 1, 2011
Last Updated: November 3, 2011

Keywords provided by University of Utah:
Positron emission tomography
Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
glucose metabolism

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Depressive Disorder
Depressive Disorder, Major
Mood Disorders
Mental Disorders
Behavioral Symptoms
Antidepressive Agents
Psychotropic Drugs processed this record on April 28, 2017