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Br J Psychiatry. 2007 Jan;190:63-8.

Changes in regional cerebral blood flow during acute electroconvulsive therapy in patients with depression: positron emission tomographic study.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, National Centre Hospital for Mental, Nervous and Muscular Disorders, National Centre of Neurology and Psychiatry, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is widely used to treat psychiatric disorders such as depression, its precise neural mechanisms remain unknown.

AIMS:

To investigate the time course of changes in cerebral blood flow during acute ECT.

METHOD:

Cerebral blood flow was quantified serially prior to, during and after acute ECT in six patients with depression under anaesthesia using [(15)O]H(2)O positron emission tomography (PET).

RESULTS:

Cerebral blood flow during ECT increased particularly in the basal ganglia, brain-stem, diencephalon, amygdala, vermis and the frontal, temporal and parietal cortices compared with that before ECT. The flow increased in the thalamus and decreased in the anterior cingulate and medial frontal cortex soon after ECT compared with that before ECT.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest a relationship between the centrencephalic system and seizure generalisation. Further, they suggest that some neural mechanisms of action of ECT are mediated via brain regions including the anterior cingulate and medial frontal cortex and thalamus.

PMID:
17197658
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.bp.106.023036
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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