Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 50  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 47-50

Serotonin transporter gene polymorphism and treatment response to serotonin reuptake inhibitor (escitalopram) in depression: An open pilot study

1 Department of Psychiatry, Govt. Medical College, Srinagar, Kashmir, India
2 Department of Biosciences, Gene Expression Lab, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biotechnology, Division of PHT, SKUAST, Srinagar, Kashmir, India
4 Department of Clinical Psychology, Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Mushtaq A Margoob
Post Graduate Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Srinagar
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.39759

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Background: Blocking of the serotonin transporter is the main mechanism of action of SSRIs; therefore, the gene encoding this protein is a strong candidate for a possible genetic influence on the treatment response. Aim: To evaluate relationship between serotonin transporter gene promoter region polymorphism and the efficacy of SSRI (escitalopram) treatment in depression. Materials and Methods: Fifty-seven consecutive patients with unipolar depressive episode (DSM IV criteria) were genotyped for the SERT gene polymorphism and treated with escitalopram 20 mg/day. Weekly assessment (HAM-D-21) was made for treatment response up to 6 weeks. Results: Significant (P > 0.0001) difference between groups (ll vs. ss or ls) in response to treatment by escitalopram was revealed by our study. However, no difference with respect to age, gender, or onset of illness was observed between genotype subgroups. Conclusion: The study suggests that serotonin transporter gene polymorphism may have an influence on the effectiveness of SSRI treatment in depressive disorders, irrespective of clinical variables. Further controlled studies are required to validate these results



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