Karen Elizabeth Davies1, Darragh Downey1,2, Shane McKie2, Gabriella Juhasz2, Ian Anderson2, Mark A. Smith3, John-Francis William Deakin2, Stephen Ross Williams1
1Imaging Science & Biomedical Engineering, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK; 2Neuroscience and Psychiatry Unit, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK; 3Research & Development, Astra Zeneca, Wilmington, USA
Serotonin is involved in mood disorders and also emotional face processing. Adaptive changes to 5-HT signalling pathways may result from sustained drug administration and may account for the delayed therapeutic effect of SSRIs. We explored BOLD responses during the processing of faces following chronic citalopram treatment. We observed significant signal reductions in hippocampus, anterior cingulate and prefrontal cortex when observing faces following 11 days of treatment. Citalopram augmented responses in the insula, thalamus and posterior cingulate. These findings suggest that chronic SSRI use modifies 5-HT pathways involved in low level processes which may be involved in treatment response.