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Combined catecholamine and indoleamine depletion following response to ECT

  • Frederick Cassidy (a1), Richard D. Weiner (a2), Thomas B. Cooper (a3) and Bernard J. Carroll (a4)

Summary

The mechanism of action of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in treating major depression is unknown. We studied two candidate mechanisms through inhibiting simultaneously the synthesis of noradrenaline and serotonin in patients immediately after successful treatment with ECT using a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover design. There were no significant changes in depression scores under any experimental conditions, or between the amine-depleted and placebo groups despite reductions of 61% in serum homovanillic acid, 47% in 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyenylethyleneglycol, and 89% in serum tryptophan. Catecholamine and serotonin availability may not be necessary for maintaining the initial antidepressant response to ECT.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr F. Cassidy, Central Regional Hospital, 300 Veazy Street, Butner, NC 27509, USA. Email: cassi002@mc.duke.edu

Footnotes

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This project was supported by a NARSAD young investigator award.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes

References

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Combined catecholamine and indoleamine depletion following response to ECT

  • Frederick Cassidy (a1), Richard D. Weiner (a2), Thomas B. Cooper (a3) and Bernard J. Carroll (a4)

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Combined catecholamine and indoleamine depletion following response to ECT

  • Frederick Cassidy (a1), Richard D. Weiner (a2), Thomas B. Cooper (a3) and Bernard J. Carroll (a4)
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