FUNCTIONAL BRAIN IMAGING ALTERATIONS IN ACNE PATIENTS TREATED WITH ISOTRETINOIN Program No. 114.2. 2004 Abstract Viewer/Itinerary Planner. Washington, DC: Society for Neuroscience, 2004. Online. J.D. Bremner, N. Fani, N. Ashraf, J. Votaw, M. Brummer, V. Vaccarino, M. Goodman, L. Reed, C.B. Nemeroff. Although there have been case reports suggesting a relationship between treatment with the acne medication isotretinoin (Accutane) and the development of depression and suicide, this topic remains controversial. In order for isotretinoin to cause depression it must have an effect on the brain; however no studies to date have examined the effects of isotretinoin on brain function in acne patients. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of isotretinoin on brain function in acne patients. Brain function was measured with [F-18]-2-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) before and after four months of treatment with isotretinoin (N=13) and antibiotic (N=15). Isotretinoin (but not antibiotic) treatment was associated with decreased brain metabolism in the orbitofrontal cortex (-21% change versus a +2% change for antibiotic) (p<0.05), a brain area known to mediate symptoms of depression. There were no differences in severity of depressive symptoms between the isotretinoin and antibiotic treatment groups before or after treatment. This study suggests that isotretinoin treatment is associated with changes in brain function.