Can prefrontal theta cordance differentiate between depression recovery and dissimulation?

: We present a case report of a 37-year old woman diagnosed with depressive disorder, first episode, who was admitted into a psychiatric hospital after a failed suicidal attempt. She responded to antidepressant therapy, as evidenced by a >50% reduction in MADRS total score. She was discharged after 4 weeks of treatment, denying any suicidal ideations. The following day the patient committed suicide; she burned herself to death. It is very likely that the patient dissimulated her symptoms and ideations. Subsequently, her quantitative EEG records were retrospectively analyzed. An increase of prefrontal theta cordance value after the first week of mirtazapine therapy was found. Recently three small studies have revealed that decrease of prefrontal theta cordance after 1 week of antidepressant administration can predict clinical response in patients with unipolar depression. In our previous study the absence of a decreased theta prefrontal cordance was associated with lack of treatment response with NPV 1.0 (Bares et al., 2007). Thus, we hypothesize that prefrontal theta cordance could become an objective marker of change of depressive symptoms, independent of patients' compliance and symptom dissimulation, more precise than objective and self-rated depression rating scales.

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