Psychomotor dysfunction in depression is related to alterations in the 24-h pattern of motor activity. After antidepressant treatment the diurnal pattern may be changed due to improvement of clinical state or pharmacological actions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate in 52 depressed in-patients the effects of imipramine (tricyclic antidepressant) and fluvoxamine (SSRI) on the 24-h motor activity. Motor activity was monitored by wrist-actigraphy during a medication-free period and after 4 weeks of treatment. Clinical improvement was not different after imipramine or fluvoxamine treatment. The Hamilton depression score decreased in patients treated with imipramine, as well as in patients treated with fluvoxamine. The clinical retardation score was also reduced in both treatment groups. However, patients treated with imipramine showed higher motor activity levels during the wake period in comparison to the medication-free period, and more fragmentation of motor activity during sleep. Treatment with fluvoxamine did not result in alterations in the 24-h pattern of motor activity. The improvement of depressive mood and retardation seems to play a minor role in the change of the pattern of motor activity after imipramine. Copyright

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European Neuropsychopharmacology
Department of Psychiatry

Volkers, A.C, Tulen, J.H.M, van den Broek, W.W, Bruijn, J.A, Passchier, J, & Pepplinkhuizen, L. (2002). 24-Hour motor activity after treatment with imipramine or fluvoxamine in major depressive disorder. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 12(4), 273–278. doi:10.1016/S0924-977X(02)00019-6