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Title: Repetitive enhancement of serum BDNF subsequent to continuation ECT
Authors: Vanicek, T
Kranz, GS 
Vyssoki, B
Komorowski, A
Fugger, G
Hoflich, A
Micskei, Z
Milovic, S
Lanzenberger, R
Eckert, A
Kasper, S
Frey, R
Issue Date: Nov-2019
Source: Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica, Nov. 2019, v. 140, no. 5, p. 426-434
Abstract: Introduction: Continuation electroconvulsive therapy (c-ECT) is highly effective for the prevention of depressive symptom relapse. There is a lack of understanding, about how c-ECT works in humans, particularly with regard to its effects on brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) concentrations. Here, we aimed to close a gap in the literature by evaluating BDNF levels in patients receiving c-ECT.
Methods: We included 13 patients with either unipolar or bipolar depression (mean age +/- SD: 55.5 +/- 17.1; f/m: 10/3; unipolar/bipolar: 10/3) who received between one and four c-ECT (average per patient: 2.8). Serum BDNF (sBDNF) levels were assessed before and after each c-ECT sessions. Clinical assessments were also administered both before and after treatment.
Results: Our analysis revealed a significant increase in sBDNF after each treatment (c-ECT 1-3: P < 0.001, c-ECT 4: P = 0.018). The application of multiple c-ECT treatments was not, however, associated with further sBDNF enhancements. Psychometric scores were not significantly altered following c-ECT.
Discussion: An increase in sBDNF concentrations subsequent to c-ECT parallel data from the animal literature, which has linked regularly applied electrical stimulation to neuroplastic processes. This finding suggests a relationship between ECT-induced sBDNF concentrations and (sustained) remission status, considering a stable clinical condition across c-ECT.
Keywords: Depression
Unipolar and bipolar affective disorder
Continuation electroconvulsive therapy
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Journal: Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica 
ISSN: 0001-690X
EISSN: 1600-0447
DOI: 10.1111/acps.13080
Rights: ©2019 The Authors. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
All rights reserved
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
The following publication Vanicek, T., Kranz, G. S., Vyssoki, B., Komorowski, A., Fugger, G., Hoflich, A., . . . Frey, R. (2019). Repetitive enhancement of serum BDNF subsequent to continuation ECT. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 140(5), 426-434 is available at https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acps.13080
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