Purpose: To study the relation of hippocampal 5HT1A receptor binding to symptoms of depression in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. Depression is common in people with epilepsy, and reduced 5HT1A binding has been reported in patients with primary depressive disorders.
Methods: We studied 45 patients with temporal lobe epilepsy confirmed by ictal video-EEG recording. Mood was assessed with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Positron emission tomographic measurement of 5HT1A receptors was performed with 18F-FCWAY, a highly specific silent antagonist. 3D-T1-weighted MRI was used to correct for structural atrophy. Receptor distribution volume (V) was corrected for plasma tracer free fraction (f1).
Results: There was a significant inverse relation between ipsilateral hippocampal v/f1 and the BDI. For contralateral hippocampus, there was a nonsignificant trend. Patients with BDI > 20 had significantly lower ipsilateral hippocampal V/f1 than patients in the low and medium groups. There was no significant effect of the presence of mesial temporal sclerosis, focus laterality, or gender on the BDI.
Conclusions: Our study shows a relationship between hippocampal 5HT1A binding and depressive symptoms measured by the BDI in patients with epilepsy. The findings parallel results in patients with MDD.