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Biomarkers in development of psychotropic drugs

By K. Wiedemann


Biomarkers have been receiving increasing attention, especially in the field of psychiatry. In contrast to the availability of potent therapeutic tools including pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, and biological therapies, unmet needs remain in terms of onset of action, stability of response, and further improvement of the clinical course. Biomarkers are objectively measured characteristics which serve as indicators of the causes of illnesses, their clinical course, and modification by treatment. There exist a variety of markers: laboratory markers which comprise the determination of genetic and epigenetic markers, neurotransmitters, hormones, cytokines, neuropeptides, enzymes, and others as single measures; electrophysiological markers which usually comprise electroencephalography (EEG) measures, and in particular sleep EEG and evoked potentials, magnetic encephalography, electrocardiogram, facial electromyography, skin conductance, and others; brain imaging techniques such as cranial computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, functional MRl, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, positron emission tomography, and single photon emission computed tomography; and behavioral approaches such as cue exposure and challenge tests which can be used to induce especially emotional processes in anxiety and depression. Examples for each of these domains are provided in this review. With a view to developing more individually tailored therapeutic strategies, the characterization of patients and the courses of different types of treatment will become even more important in the future

Topics: Clinical Research
Publisher: Les Laboratoires Servier
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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