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26 November 2016 : Clinical Research  

Electroconvulsive Therapy-Induced Brain Structural and Functional Changes in Major Depressive Disorders: A Longitudinal Study

Haitang QiuABCDEF, Xirong LiABCDEF, Wenjing ZhaoBDEF, Lian DuABCDEF, Peiyu HuangBDEF, Yixiao FuBDEF, Tian QiuBDEF, Peng XieBDE, Huaqing MengBDF, Qinghua LuoABCDEFG

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.898081

Med Sci Monit 2016; 22:4577-4586

Abstract

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to study the brain structural and functional changes after 8 courses of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) on patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).

MATERIAL AND METHODS: MRI scans were performed on 12 depressive patients before and after 8 courses of ECT and compared with those of 15 normal controls. Data were analyzed by voxel-based morphometry (VBM) using SPM8 software. Functional MRI (fMRI) and regional homogeneity (ReHo) analyses were used to assess the functional changes after ECT.

RESULTS: Grey matter volumes were smaller in the right cingulate gyrus of depressive patients before ECT compared with normal controls. After false discovery rate (FDR) correction, post-ECT grey matter volumes were increased in bilateral amygdala and hippocampus compared with pre-ECT. Resting-state ReHo maps showed significant differences in brain activity pre- and post-ECT. Compared with healthy controls, MDD patients treated with 8 courses of ECT showed higher ReHo values in the bilateral frontal lobe, bilateral parietal lobe, and right caudate nucleus. Decreased ReHo values were observed in the right medial temporal gyrus, right superior temporal gyrus, right cingulate gyrus, and left anterior cerebellar lobe.

CONCLUSIONS: Results suggested that there were both structural and functional differences between the brains of MDD patients and healthy controls. After ECT, both structural and functional changes occurred, but without complete recovery to normal. ECT may display effects through regulating other brain regions to compensate for the original defects.

Keywords: Brain - physiopathology, Case-Control Studies, Demography, Depressive Disorder, Major - therapy, Electroconvulsive Therapy, Gray Matter - physiopathology, Gyrus Cinguli - physiopathology, Longitudinal Studies, Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750