Efficacy of Bupropion, Escitalopram for Internet Gaming Disorder in MDD

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Impulsivity and attention symptoms improved more with bupropion than with escitalopram.
Impulsivity and attention symptoms improved more with bupropion than with escitalopram.
The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2018 American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting in New York, New York. Psychiatry Advisor's staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in psychiatry. Check back for the latest news from APA 2018.

NEW YORK — Decreased brain connectivity between the default mode network and salience network may be associated with improvement in internet gaming disorder (IGD) and impulsivity in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and IGD, according to research presented at the 2018 American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting, held May 5-9, in New York City, New York.

The authors of this 12-week double-blind prospective trial hypothesized that both bupropion and escitalopram would be effective for patients with both major depressive disorder (MDD) and internet gaming disorder (IGD) in reducing depressive symptoms and IGD symptoms. However, because of the pharmacodynamics of the 2 drugs, the changes in brain connectivity between the default mode network and the salience network were different.

To assess the differential functional connectivity between the default mode network and salience network, researchers selected 12 regions from the automated anatomic labeling in PickAtlas software. Thirty patients were included in the study, 15 in the bupropion group and 15 in the escitalopram group. Depressive symptoms and IGD symptoms were improved in both groups. However, impulsivity and attention symptoms were significantly decreased in the bupropion group compared with the escitalopram group. In the escitalopram treatment group, functional connectivity decreased only within the default mode network. Meanwhile in the bupropion treatment group, functional connectivity between default mode network and salience network decreased.

The study investigators concluded that, “Bupropion showed greater effects than escitalopram on reducing impulsivity and attention symptoms. Decreased brain connectivity between the salience network and the [default mode network] appears to be associated with improved excessive IGD symptoms and impulsivity in [people with] MDD [and] IGD.”

For more coverage of APA 2018, click here. 

Reference

Sohn I, Han DH. Comparing the effects of bupropion and escitalopram on excessive internet game play in patients with major depressive disorder. Presented at: 2018 American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting; New York, NY; May 5-9. Poster 21.

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