Effects of Electroconvulsive Therapy on Frontal White Matter in Late-Life Depression: A Diffusion Tensor Imaging StudyNobuhara K. · Okugawa G. · Minami T. · Takase K. · Yoshida T. · Yagyu T. · Tajika A. · Sugimoto T. · Tamagaki C. · Ikeda K. · Sawada S. · Kinoshita T.
Departments of aNeuropsychiatry and bRadiology, Kansai Medical University, Moriguchi City, Japan
This study was conducted to elucidate the effects of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) on frontal white matter in late-life depressed patients. Diffusion tensor imaging was performed on 8 late-life depressed patients and 12 healthy age-matched controls. The patients were scanned before and after a course of ECT. Fractional anisotropy (FA) was determined in the frontal and temporal regions and the corpus callosum. A significant white matter FA reduction was found in widespread frontal and temporal brain regions in patients with depression before ECT treatment compared with controls. A significant increase in frontal white matter FA was seen following ECT treatment. A course of bilateral ECT ameliorated white matter integrity in frontal brain regions. This suggests a strong relationship with the antidepressant action of ECT.
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