Biology of depression

We have shown that

  1. In a rat model the stress induced dendritic retraction can be prevented with a series of electroconvulsive seizures (ESC).
  2. Depression treated with ECT through anesthesia with propofol shows faster response than if carried out with thiopental – however at the price of more cognitive side effects.
  3. Patients with severe depression have signs of increased oxidative stress, and that this stress is further enhanced after effective treatment with ECT.
  4. The correlation between cortisol/corticosterone and oxidative stress is apparent only in control subjects – as soon as illness or model based stress is applied - it disappears.
  5. Successful treatment of depression with ECT is accompanied by increased volume of the hippocampus, amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex and decreased volume of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.