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Evidence indicates the roles of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in alternating the response of escitalopram in treating Panic disorder (PD) patients. A recent study explored the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of genes BDNF and CREB1 in responding to the treatment of escitalopram on PD.
80 PD patients with DSM-5 diagnosis and 78 healthy controls were included in the study. All PD patients were administered escitalopram treatment for consecutive 8 weeks. The Chinese version of the Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS-CV) and the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA-14) evaluated the severity of panic and anxiety symptoms for PD patients at baseline, weeks 2, 4, and 8, respectively. rs11904814, rs6740584, rs2253206, and rs2551941 in CREB1 gene and rs6265 in BDNF gene underwent genotyping. Associations between SNPs and escitalopram treatment response were explored.
On comparing, rs11904814 and rs2551941 among the PDSS-CV responders showed substantial discrepancies on the completion of week 2, this persisted even after Bonferroni corrections. The gene CREB1 SNP rs11904814 demonstrated a marked association with changes in PDSS-CV scores after 12 weeks of escitalopram treatment in PD patients, which persisted even after adjusting for age and gender.
Thus, BDNF and CREB1 have a key role in determining a rapid response after escitalopram intervention in PD patients.