Does amygdalar perfusion correlate with antidepressant response to partial sleep deprivation in major depression?

Psychiatry Res. 2006 Jan 30;146(1):43-51. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2005.09.007. Epub 2005 Dec 27.


This study used functional MRI (fMRI) to clarify the sites of brain activity associated with the antidepressant effects of sleep deprivation (SD). We hypothesized: (1) baseline perfusion in right and left amygdalae will be greater in responders than in nonresponders; (2) following partial sleep deprivation (PSD), perfusion in responders' right and left amygdalae would decrease. Seventeen unmedicated outpatients with current major depression and eight controls received perfusion-weighted fMRI and structural MRI at baseline and following 1 night of late-night PSD. Baseline bilateral amygdalar perfusion was greater in responders than nonresponders. Clusters involving both amygdalae decreased from baseline to PSD specifically in responders. Right amygdalar perfusion diverged with PSD, increasing in nonresponders and decreasing in responders. These novel amygdalar findings are consistent with the overarousal hypothesis of SD as well as other functional imaging studies showing increased baseline amygdalar activity in depression and decreased amygdalar activity with remission or antidepressant medications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amygdala* / blood supply
  • Amygdala* / drug effects
  • Amygdala* / physiopathology
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arousal / physiology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / drug effects
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep Deprivation / diagnosis*


  • Antidepressive Agents