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Br J Psychiatry. 1992 Feb;160:223-9.

Enhanced serotonergic responsivity following electroconvulsive therapy in patients with major depression.

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Depression Treatment Unit, Ezrath Nashim Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel.


Prolactin release in response to fenfluramine hydrochloride (60 mg orally) and placebo was evaluated in 18 medication-free patients with RDC major depressive disorder, endogenous subtype, before and after a series of bilateral treatments with ECT. Before ECT, fenfluramine induced a twofold increase in plasma prolactin levels. This response was significantly enhanced after the ECT series, while baseline prolactin levels and response to the placebo challenge were not altered. There was no significant difference in plasma fenfluramine and norfenfluramine levels during the pre- and post-ECT challenges. These findings suggest that ECT enhances central serotonergic responsivity and extend to depressed patients pre-clinical observations regarding the effect of electroconvulsive shock on serotonergic function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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