Imperial College London

Professor Paul M. Matthews

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Brain Sciences

Edmond and Lily Safra Chair, Head of Department



+44 (0)20 7594 2855p.matthews




Ms Siobhan Dillon +44 (0)20 7594 2855




E502Burlington DanesHammersmith Campus






BibTex format

author = {Maron, E and Wall, M and Norbury, R and Godlewska, B and Terbeck, S and Cowen, P and Matthews, P and Nutt, DJ},
doi = {10.1177/0269881115620462},
journal = {Journal of Psychopharmacology},
pages = {33--39},
title = {Effect of short-term escitalopram treatment on neural activation during emotional processing},
url = {},
volume = {30},
year = {2015}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Recent functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) imaging studies have revealed that subchronic medication with escitalopram leads to significantreduction in both amygdala and medial frontal gyrus reactivity during processing of emotional faces, suggesting that escitalopram may have adistinguishable modulatory effect on neural activation as compared with other serotonin-selective antidepressants. In this fMRI study we aimed toexplore whether short-term medication with escitalopram in healthy volunteers is associated with reduced neural response to emotional processing,and whether this effect is predicted by drug plasma concentration. The neural response to fearful and happy faces was measured before and on day7 of treatment with escitalopram (10mg) in 15 healthy volunteers and compared with those in a control unmedicated group (n=14). Significantlyreduced activation to fearful, but not to happy facial expressions was observed in the bilateral amygdala, cingulate and right medial frontal gyrusfollowing escitalopram medication. This effect was not correlated with plasma drug concentration. In accordance with previous data, we showed thatescitalopram exerts its rapid direct effect on emotional processing via attenuation of neural activation in pathways involving medial frontal gyrus andamygdala, an effect that seems to be distinguishable from that of other SSRIs.
AU - Maron,E
AU - Wall,M
AU - Norbury,R
AU - Godlewska,B
AU - Terbeck,S
AU - Cowen,P
AU - Matthews,P
AU - Nutt,DJ
DO - 10.1177/0269881115620462
EP - 39
PY - 2015///
SN - 1461-7285
SP - 33
TI - Effect of short-term escitalopram treatment on neural activation during emotional processing
T2 - Journal of Psychopharmacology
UR -
VL - 30
ER -