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Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors for the Treatment of Depression in Adults with Down Syndrome: A Preliminary Retrospective Chart Review Study

1
Lurie Center for Autism, 1 Maguire Road, Lexington, MA 02421, USA
2
Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA
3
Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, 25 Shattuck Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA
4
Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, 25 Shattuck Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA
5
McLean Hospital, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA 02478, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Equal contributions.
Academic Editor: Corrado Romano
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(9), 1216; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11091216
Received: 16 July 2021 / Revised: 10 September 2021 / Accepted: 13 September 2021 / Published: 15 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Down Syndrome: Neuropsychological Phenotype across the Lifespan)
Background: Depression is a common psychiatric comorbidity in individuals with Down syndrome (DS), particularly adults, with an estimated lifetime prevalence of at least 10%. The current literature on the treatment of depression in adults with DS is limited to case series published more than two decades ago, prior to the widespread use of modern antidepressant medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The purpose of this retrospective chart review study was to examine the effectiveness, tolerability, and safety of SSRIs for depression in adults with DS. Methods: Medical records of 11 adults with DS and depression were reviewed. Assignment of scores for severity (S) of symptoms of depression and improvement (I) of symptoms with treatment with an SSRI was made retrospectively using the Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI). Demographic and clinical characteristics of the study population, SSRI name, dose, and duration of treatment; and adverse effects were also recorded. Results: All 11 patients (7 male, 4 female; mean age = 27.2 years, range 18–46 years) completed a 12-week treatment course with an SSRI. The median duration of time after initiation of the SSRI covered by record review was 2.1 years, with a range of 24 weeks to 6.7 years. Nine of the 11 patients (82%; 95% CI 52%, 95%) were judged responders to SSRIs based on a rating of “much improved” or “very much improved” on the CGI-I after 12 weeks of treatment (median time of follow-up was 14.4 weeks, with a range of 12.0–33.0 weeks). Adverse effects occurred in four patients (36%). The most common adverse effects were daytime sedation and anger. Conclusions: In this preliminary retrospective study, the majority of patients responded to a 12-week course of SSRI treatment and some tolerated long-term use. Controlled studies are needed to further assess the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of SSRIs for the treatment of depression in adults with DS. View Full-Text
Keywords: Down syndrome; depression; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor Down syndrome; depression; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor
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MDPI and ACS Style

Thom, R.P.; Palumbo, M.L.; Thompson, C.; McDougle, C.J.; Ravichandran, C.T. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors for the Treatment of Depression in Adults with Down Syndrome: A Preliminary Retrospective Chart Review Study. Brain Sci. 2021, 11, 1216. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11091216

AMA Style

Thom RP, Palumbo ML, Thompson C, McDougle CJ, Ravichandran CT. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors for the Treatment of Depression in Adults with Down Syndrome: A Preliminary Retrospective Chart Review Study. Brain Sciences. 2021; 11(9):1216. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11091216

Chicago/Turabian Style

Thom, Robyn P., Michelle L. Palumbo, Claire Thompson, Christopher J. McDougle, and Caitlin T. Ravichandran. 2021. "Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors for the Treatment of Depression in Adults with Down Syndrome: A Preliminary Retrospective Chart Review Study" Brain Sciences 11, no. 9: 1216. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11091216

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