Korean J Psychopharmacol.  2003 Sep;14(3):284-291.

Therapeutic Effect of Tianeptine on Elderly Depression and Hippocampal Volume Change

  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul Veterans Hospital, Seoul, Korea.


This research was performed to study the effect of tianeptine, a novel antidepressant, on elderly depressed patients, to compare the hippocampus size between a normal control group and the elderly depressed group, and to measure the change of hippocampal volume according to the treatment effect of tianeptine. The relationship between hippocampus size and severity of depression at baseline was also studied. METHODS: A group of elderly depressed patients and normal control subjects over 62 years old were recruited fifteen elderly depressed patients, all male, of average age 70 (range 62-80 years old) and 15 normal control subjects were recruited along with age and education duration matched. To investigate the effect of the antidepressant, Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) and Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scale were applied at baseline, and the 4th and 8th weeks. MRI was used to compare the volume of the hippocampus between the patients group and the control group, and to measure the hippocampal volume of the patients at baseline and after the 8-week treatment. RESULTS: For the elderly depressed patient group, tianeptine significantly reduced MADRS, HDRS and CGI (Ed-deleted part is unnecessary as this meaning is obvious from being in the `Results' section). There was no significant difference of hippocampal volume between the elderly depressed patients group and the normal control group, nor between the elderly depressed patients group at baseline and after the 8-week treatment. CONCLUSION: This study shows that tianeptine is a safe, effective and well-tolerated antidepressant for elderly depression. However, a change of hippocampal volume was not observed over the course of an 8-week, short-term therapy.


Elderly Depression; Hippocampus; Tianeptine
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