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The olfactory deficits of depressed patients are restored after remission with venlafaxine treatment

Abstract : Background It is unclear whether olfactory deficits improve after remission in depressed patients. Therefore, we aimed to assess in drug-free patients the olfactory performance of patients with major depressive episodes (MDE) and its change after antidepressant treatment. Methods In the DEP-ARREST-CLIN study, 69 drug-free patients with a current MDE in the context of major depressive disorder (MDD) were assessed for their olfactory performances and depression severity, before and after 1 (M1) and 3 (M3) months of venlafaxine antidepressant treatment. They were compared to 32 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HCs). Olfaction was assessed with a psychophysical test, the Sniffin’ Sticks test ( Threshold : T score; Discrimination: D score; Identification : I score; total score: T + D + I = TDI score) and Pleasantness (pleasantness score: p score; neutral score: N score; unpleasantness score: U score). Results As compared to HCs, depressed patients had lower TDI olfactory scores [mean ( s.d. ) 30.0(4.5) v. 33.3(4.2), p < 0.001], T scores [5.6(2.6) v. 7.4(2.6), p < 0.01], p scores [7.5(3.0) v. 9.8(2.8), p < 0.001)] and higher N scores [3.5(2.6) v. 2.1(1.8), p < 0.01]. T , p and N scores at baseline were independent from depression and anhedonia severity. After venlafaxine treatment, significant increases of T scores [M1: 7.0(2.6) and M3: 6.8(3.1), p < 0.01] and p scores [M1: 8.1(3.0) and M3: 8.4(3.3), p < 0.05] were evidenced, in remitters only ( T : p < 0.01; P : p < 0.01). Olfaction improvement was mediated by depression improvement. Conclusions The olfactory signature of MDE is restored after venlafaxine treatment. This olfaction improvement is mediated by depression improvement.
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https://hal-pasteur.archives-ouvertes.fr/pasteur-03242612
Contributor : Françoise Lazarini <>
Submitted on : Monday, May 31, 2021 - 10:46:44 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 11, 2021 - 3:58:03 PM

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Romain Colle, Khalil El Asmar, Céline Verstuyft, Pierre-Marie Lledo, Françoise Lazarini, et al.. The olfactory deficits of depressed patients are restored after remission with venlafaxine treatment. Psychological Medicine, Cambridge University Press (CUP), In press, pp.1-9. ⟨10.1017/S0033291720003918⟩. ⟨pasteur-03242612⟩

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