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Identifying Neurological Biomarkers to Aid in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) Diagnosis and Treatment 

Identifying Neurological Biomarkers to Aid in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) Diagnosis and Treatment 

Background

Identifying neurological biomarkers to aid with diagnoses, treatment effect evaluation of mood and cognitive symptoms, and treatment outcome prediction in major depressive disorder (MDD) is an unmet need. In a recent study, the clinical utility of BNA™ to assess the effects of Compound A on depression and cognition, and as an MDD management support tool was evaluated.

Methods

Twenty-five MDD patients (20-65 years old) with cognitive dysfunction complaints, underwent an 8-week open-label treatment using Compound A. Event-related potential (ERP) data, generated during cognitive tasks, were collected at pre-treatment, two weeks, and eight weeks into treatment. Correlations with MDD symptoms, cognitive functioning, and functional capacity were investigated. Exploratory analyses assessed the differences in baseline and endpoint ERP scores between MDD patients and matched controls (N=41).

Results

Compound A treatment showed clinical efficacy, tolerability, and safety consistent with previous studies. MDD patients exhibited increased baseline latencies of P200 and P3b ERP components compared to controls, which normalized at treatment endpoint. P200 and P300 changes in the MDD group indicated a pro-cognitive effect of Compound A independent of its antidepressant effect (P3a shown in figure 1). Significant differences between treatment response groups were observed in P200 and N2 topography, with responders showing more anterior activations relative to non-responders at baseline (figure 2). Significant differences were also observed in theta cordance, with responders showing a larger increase in theta cordance 2 weeks after treatment onset relative to non-responders

Figure 1. MDD subjects exhibit slower baseline P200 components compared to healthy controls (left), which normalized for both responders and non-responders following treatment (right).

Responder / Non-responder

Figure 2. Treatment responders show a more anterior P200 and N2 components at baseline, while non-responders show posterior components. Bottom figures show example P200 topographic location of a responding patient (left) and a non-responding patient (right). Patients’ peak activations are in blue, age-matched normative group’s peak activation is in black. These toptographic location figures are available in the BNA™ ERP reports.