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J ECT. 1999 Mar;15(1):27-38.

EEG correlates of the response to ECT: a possible antidepressant role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA.


Studies on the relationship of electroencephalographic (EEG) data to the therapeutic response to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) have been carried out since the 1940s, but for many years they did not yield any consistent correlates. Recent studies, however, are providing a growing body of evidence of relationships between the antidepressant response to ECT and both the ictal (recorded during ECT seizures) and interictal (recorded during waking) EEG. These studies appear to be consistent in pointing to the importance of electrophysiologic changes in the prefrontal cortex as a potential mediator of the antidepressant response to ECT. The available findings are reviewed and discussed in light of recent neurophysiologic and neuropsychiatric research, including that related to neurotrophic factors.

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