Danbury, Connecticut, 26th April 2023, ZEX PR WIREDr. Richard Katz has been a part of many important publications in high impact medical journals. Among the many studies Dr. Katz has been involved, includes differing effects of a placebo response as opposed to an antidepressant response, event-related potentials in an emotional go/no-go task and remission of geriatric depression, enhanced and bi-lateralized visual sensory processing in the ventral stream as a feature of normal aging, as well as cognitive control in late-life depression and response inhibition deficits and dysfunction of the anterior cingulate cortex.

In The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, Dr. Richard Katz and colleagues published the following conclusions : “While structural neuroimaging studies have consistently pointed to dysfunction in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) as an important neural substrate in geriatric depression, electrophysiological studies of ACC function have been considerably less consistent in their findings. Here, using a well-characterized and highly challenging task-switching paradigm, we assessed response inhibition mechanisms in the ACC as reflected by the N2 ERP component and the N2-effect. Our data suggest clear differences between non-depressed elderly participants and those suffering from late-life depression, non-depressed participants showed a robust N2-effect whereas this effect was absent in the depressed cohort. These data suggest functional deficits in the ACC during response inhibition processes and suggest that these deficits in depressed subjects may only become apparent under high-load conditions when this system is particularly taxed.” (Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2010 Nov; 18(11): 1017–1025.)

Findings by Dr. Katz and colleagues were featured in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, which publishes the results of studies in behavior, biochemistry, cell biology, endocrinology, molecular biology, morphology, neurology, neuropathology, pharmacology, physiology and protein chemistry in which the primary emphasis involves mechanisms of nervous system changes with age or diseases associated with age. In the article they examined the hypothesis that “enhanced and bilateralized visual sensory processing in the ventral stream may be a feature of normal aging.” Their conclusions, in part, stated: “An enhancement in amplitude in elderly participants during the N1 component of the VEP (168 ms) is indicative of age-related differences in early sensory processing. We found age-related changes in scalp topography and underlying sources of N1 in the form of reduced hemispheric asymmetry for early sensory processing.” The study in its entirety is provided here.

The results of studies examining event-related potentials in an emotional go/no-go task and remission of geriatric depression were published in NeuroReport, in which Dr. Richard Katz and colleagues concluded that their “findings suggest that two distinct conflict-processing functions of the anterior cingulate are important for antidepressant response of geriatric depression.” (https://journals.lww.com/neuroreport/toc/2007/02120

Investigating the response to an antidepressant and its relation to the placebo response, Dr. Katz and co-authors found that “the placebo response embedded in drug response confounds studies seeking to identify brain mechanisms essential for pharmacologic response. Exclusion of patients who fail to meet entry criteria at the end of a placebo lead-in phase has been inadequate to reduce the effect of placebo during pharmacologic trials.” Their study then focused on the placebo lead-in phase and examined whether change in severity of depression during placebo lead-in predicted change in depressive symptoms during antidepressant treatment. 

Results cited in their abstract in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry stated: “Worsening or limited change in depression during placebo treatment predicted improvement in depressive symptoms during escitalopram treatment. Limited change in anxiety, melancholia, helplessness, and paranoia during placebo treatment were the strongest predictors of improvement in depression while on escitalopram.” This led Dr. Katz and his fellow researchers to conclude: “These findings, if replicated, may be used to characterize depressed older patients likely to respond to the pharmacologic action of antidepressants rather than the placebo response embedded in drug trials and thus improve the methodology of biomarker studies of antidepressant response. On a clinical level, depressed older patients who improve during a prolonged evaluation may be candidates for nonpharmacologic treatments because their drug response may be limited.” 

About Dr. Richard Katz

Richard Katz, MD, MHA is a pharmaceutical executive with extensive experience in central nervous system, regenerative – biological therapies, clinical trial design and operations. Dr. Katz has consulted across many therapeutic areas in the pharmaceutical and life science industries. His focus is on delivering more effective, affordable, treatments to improve patient health outcomes making a global impact on healthcare than what is possible by treating only one patient at a time.