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Neuroticism but not omega-3 fatty acid levels correlate with early responsiveness to escitalopram

Jess G. Fiedorowicz, MD, MS

Departments of Psychiatry and Epidemiology, Carver College of Medicine, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA

Nancy Hale, BS, RN

Department of Psychiatry, Carver College of Medicine, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA

Arthur A. Spector, MD

Departments of Biochemistry and Internal Medicine, Carver College of Medicine, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA

William H. Coryell, MD

Department of Psychiatry, Carver College of Medicine, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA

BACKGROUND: Omega-3 fatty acid (O3FA) levels and dimensional personality measures have been associated with major depression and the course of depressive illness. We sought to study the utility of O3FA levels and dimensional personality measures as predictors of early improvement with escitalopram.

METHODS: Twenty-four participants were enrolled in an open-label trial of escitalopram 10 mg/d for 4 weeks. Baseline erythrocyte O3 levels and dimensional personality assessments were obtained.

RESULTS: Using a conservative, intention-to-treat analysis, baseline neuroticism (r = –0.57; P = .007), as measured by the Revised NEO Personality Inventory but not erythrocyte O3 levels, was correlated with improvements on escitalopram. A facet analysis of the neuroticism domain showed the relationship with antidepressant response to be focused on trait anxiety (r = –0.65; P = .002).

CONCLUSIONS: Anxiety may have important prognostic implications on subsequent response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as escitalopram.

KEYWORDS: omega-3 fatty acids, anxiety, major depression, neuroticism, antidepressant

ANNALS OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY 2010;22(3):157–163

CORRESPONDENCE: Jess G. Fiedorowicz, MD, MS, Department of Psychiatry, Carver College of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, The University of Iowa, 200 Hawkins Drive, W278GH, Iowa City, IA 52242 USA E-MAIL: jess-fiedorowicz@uiowa.edu
Annals of Clinical Psychiatry ©2010 Quadrant HealthCom Inc.

 
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