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. However, after treatment with SSRI's of patients with moderate depression a decrease is observed.
  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. However, the increased volume in hippocampus does not appear to be correlate with relief of depression.
  6. Use of metformin, DPP4 inhibitors, GLP1 analogs and SGLT2 inhibitors was associated with lower risk of dementia in patients with diabetes
  7. Patients who had ECT do not have increased risk of dementia, epilepsy or stroke compared to other patients with affective disorders.
  8. Patients treated with benzodiazepines do not have increased risk of dementia compared to other patients with psychiatric illness.
  9. In patients with affective disorders and somatic comorbidity, ECT is not associated with a higher risk of death from natural causes or acute somatic event.
  10. In a population without baseline diabetes, higher HbA1c levels seemed associated with higher depression risk in women
  11. Higher rates of suicidal behaviour in the weeks following initiation of antidepressant medication reflect disease severity and a delay in mood response and not the medication.
  12. Low 5-HT4R binding may be a marker for depressed patients who remit to SSRI, and that these might comprise a “serotonergic-related" subtype of MDD.


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