A New Role for hsCRP?

High-sensitivity C-reactive (hsCRP) protein appears to have a unique “differential” role in its ability to help predict how well patients respond to certain antidepressants. A study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry evaluated 241 adults diagnosed with major depressive disorder to see if there was a relationship between hsCRP levels and patient responses to escitalopram (a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and nortriptyline (a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor). Subjects with low levels of hsCRP (<1 mg/L) scored 3 points higher on the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRAS) if they were treated with escitalopram vs. nortriptyline and those with higher hsCRP levels had better MADRAS scores if treated with nortriptyline vs. escitaolpram. Authors suggested that hsCRP may be helpful in personalizing treatment for depression.

Reference: Uher R, Tansey KE, Dew T, et al. An inflammatory biomarker as a differential predictor of depression treatment with escitalopram and nortriptyline. Am J Psychiatry 2014: doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.14010094.

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