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  Are morphological changes necessary to mediate the therapeutic effects of electroconvulsive therapy?

Nickl-Jockschat, T., Palomero Gallagher, N., Kumar, V., Hoffstaedter, F., Brügmann, E., Habel, U., et al. (2016). Are morphological changes necessary to mediate the therapeutic effects of electroconvulsive therapy? European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 266(3), 261-267. doi:10.1007/s00406-015-0631-z.

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Nickl-Jockschat, T, Author
Palomero Gallagher, N, Author
Kumar, V1, Author                 
Hoffstaedter, F, Author
Brügmann, E, Author
Habel, U, Author
Eickhoff, SB, Author
Grözinger, M, Author
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1External Organizations, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: The neurotrophic hypothesis has become the favorite model to explain the antidepressant properties of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). It is based on the assumption that a restoration of previously defective neural networks drives therapeutic effects. Recent data in rather young patients suggest that neurotrophic effects of ECT might be detectable by diffusion tensor imaging. We here aimed to investigate whether the therapeutic response to ECT necessarily goes along with mesoscopic effects in gray matter (GM) or white matter (WM) in our patients in advanced age. Patients (n = 21, 15 males and 7 females) suffering from major depressive disorder were treated with ECT. Before the start of treatment and after the completion of the index series, they underwent magnetic resonance imaging, including a diffusion-weighed sequence. We used voxel-based morphometry to assess GM changes and tract-based spatial statistics and an SPM-based whole-brain analysis to detect WM changes in the course of treatment. Patients significantly improved clinically during the course of ECT. This was, however, not accompanied by GM or WM changes. This result challenges the notion that mesoscopic brain structure changes are an obligatory prerequisite for the antidepressant effects of ECT.

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 Dates: 2016-04
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1007/s00406-015-0631-z
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Title: European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Berlin : Springer International
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 266 (3) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 261 - 267 Identifier: ISSN: 0940-1334
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954927622119