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Effects of Electroconvulsive Therapy on Frontal White Matter in Late-Life Depression: A Diffusion Tensor Imaging Study

Nobuhara K.a · Okugawa G.a · Minami T.a · Takase K.a · Yoshida T.a · Yagyu T.a · Tajika A.a · Sugimoto T.a · Tamagaki C.a · Ikeda K.b · Sawada S.b · Kinoshita T.a
Departments of aNeuropsychiatry and bRadiology, Kansai Medical University, Moriguchi City, Japan Neuropsychobiology 2004;50:48–53 (DOI:10.1159/000077941)

Abstract

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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