Recent Findings: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is the leading cause of disability worldwide and available pharmacological treatments are only partially effective. The development of new drugs is hindered by the high proportion of MDD patients who respond to placebo. Data from neuroimaging studies suggests convergence in the activation of brain circuits during placebo response to analgesia and placebo response in depression. Purpose of Review: In the current work, we reviewed the published literature about placebo response in depression and in pain, focusing on the similarities within the neurobiological pathways that could facilitate identification of predictors of antidepressant placebo response. Summary: Data suggests that placebo response in both pain and depression are mediated by reward neurocircuitry. The neuro-functional overlap between these networks suggests a novel strategy to prospectively identify placebo responders in MDD.
- Placebo response
- Reward circuitry