The effect of a single dose of escitalopram on sensorimotor networks.

Weisstanner, Christian; Kägi, Georg; Krammer, Werner; Eap, Chin B; Wiest, Roland; Missimer, John H; Weder, Bruno (2018). The effect of a single dose of escitalopram on sensorimotor networks. Brain and Behavior, 8(6), e00975. Wiley 10.1002/brb3.975

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INTRODUCTION Serving as a pilot study of poststroke pharmacotherapy, the present investigation was intended to establish the effect of a single dose of escitalopram on motor task performance in normal volunteers. METHODS Ten healthy volunteers of median age 63 years including four females performed a well-studied tactile manipulation task in two fMRI sessions using a double-blind cross-over design. The sessions began approximately three hours after ingestion of 20 mg escitalopram or placebo presented in pseudorandom order. The fMRI image sequences were submitted to principal component analysis (PCA). RESULTS Based on volume correlations of task-related principal components with the mean component images derived in our previous study, we established the reproducibility of two networks of sensorimotor activity proposed there. The network reflecting motor control (cerebral pattern I) appeared invariably in placebo and verum conditions. In contrast, the other network, attributed to diminished motor control due to distracting mental processing (cerebral pattern II), emerged less regularly and exhibited more variability. Second-level PCAs of both conditions confirmed the findings of the initial analysis. Specifically, it validated the dominant and invariable expression of cerebral pattern I after application of a single dose of escitalopram. Dynamic causal modeling confirmed enhanced motor output as a result of a significantly increased connectivity between primary motor cortex and dorsal premotor cortex. CONCLUSION This pilot study suggests the promise of stimulation by a specific serotonin reuptake inhibitor in regard to recovery and preservation of motor control after stroke.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology

UniBE Contributor:

Weisstanner, Christian; Wiest, Roland and Weder, Bruno


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Martin Zbinden

Date Deposited:

21 Aug 2018 16:06

Last Modified:

24 Oct 2019 11:31

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

dynamic causal modeling escitalopram fMRI motor control principal component analysis sensorimotor networks




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