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The effect of SSRIs on threat of shock potentiated neural circuitry

14 - 21 day treatment (depending on your availability) with the antidepressant Escitalopram or Placebo tablet.

The study involves three sessions:

  • Session 1 – This is an eligibility check session. We conduct a series of interviews that discuss your mood, experiences that you may or may not have had as well as some drug and alcohol use. We also do an ECG in this session to check that your heart is fine.
  • Session 2 – You will do some behavioural tasks 2 out of the scanner and 3 in the MRI scanner. Two of these tasks will involve threat of shock, where you will be given random electric shocks. These shocks are uncomfortable but NOT painful. After this session you will be given the medication which will either be the drug or placebo, you will then go away for 14-21 days (depending on your availability and take the medication once a day.
  • Session 3 – After the 14-21 days you will come back in and do the exact same session as session 2.


We are looking for:


  • Age 18-64
  • Right handed
  • No significant medical problems
  • EITHER persistent anxiety and/or low mood (Individuals with anxiety/ low mood do not need to have a diagnosis as we will do an interview to discuss symptoms) OR no history of mental health problems 


  • London


For all of this you will be paid £45-50 which will be given to participants at the end. 

Contact information:

Please contact SIOBHAN for more information. 


Phone: 020 7679 5434

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