Objective It is important to predict a response to an antidepressant in early time after starting the antidepressant. We previously reported that serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in responders to treatment with antidepressants were increased, whereas, those in nonresponders were not. Therefore, we hypothesized that the changes in serum levels of BDNF from baseline (T0) to 4 weeks (T4) after treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) predict the response to the treatment at 8 weeks (T8) in depressed patients. To confirm the hypothesis, we measured serum BDNF at T0, T4, and T8 during the treatment with SSRIs (paroxetine, sertraline, and fluvoxamine). Methods One hundred fifty patients (M/F; 51/99, age; 50.4±15.1 years) met major depressive disorder (MDD) using by DSM-IV-TR enrolled in the present study. We measured serum BDNF concentrations at T0, T4, and T8 in patients with MDD treated with SSRIs. Results The changes in serum BDNF, age, sex, dose of SSRIs, and HAMD-17 score did not predict the response to SSRIs at T8. Conclusion These results suggest that the changes in serum BDNF levels from T0 to T4 could not predict the subsequent responses to SSRIs at T8.
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