Objective: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is one of the most studied and validated available treatments for severe or treatment-resistant depression. However, little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying ECT. This systematic review aims to critically review all structural magnetic resonance imaging studies investigating longitudinal cortical thickness (CT) changes after ECT in patients with unipolar or bipolar depression. Methods: We performed a search on PubMed, Medline, and Embase to identify all available studies published before April 20, 2023. A total of 10 studies were included. Results: The investigations showed widespread increases in CT after ECT in depressed patients, involving mainly the temporal, insular, and frontal regions. In five studies, CT increases in a non-overlapping set of brain areas correlated with the clinical efficacy of ECT. The small sample size, heterogeneity in terms of populations, comorbidities, and ECT protocols, and the lack of a control group in some investigations limit the generalisability of the results. Conclusions: Our findings support the idea that ECT can increase CT in patients with unipolar and bipolar depression. It remains unclear whether these changes are related to the clinical response. Future larger studies with longer follow-up are warranted to thoroughly address the potential role of CT as a biomarker of clinical response after ECT.

Effects of electroconvulsive therapy on cortical thickness in depression: A systematic review

Tommaso Toffanin;Francesca Romagnolo;Federica Folesani;Maria Giulia Nanni;Rosangela Caruso;Luigi Zerbinati;Martino Belvederi Murri;Maria Ferrara;Luigi Grassi;
2024

Abstract

Objective: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is one of the most studied and validated available treatments for severe or treatment-resistant depression. However, little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying ECT. This systematic review aims to critically review all structural magnetic resonance imaging studies investigating longitudinal cortical thickness (CT) changes after ECT in patients with unipolar or bipolar depression. Methods: We performed a search on PubMed, Medline, and Embase to identify all available studies published before April 20, 2023. A total of 10 studies were included. Results: The investigations showed widespread increases in CT after ECT in depressed patients, involving mainly the temporal, insular, and frontal regions. In five studies, CT increases in a non-overlapping set of brain areas correlated with the clinical efficacy of ECT. The small sample size, heterogeneity in terms of populations, comorbidities, and ECT protocols, and the lack of a control group in some investigations limit the generalisability of the results. Conclusions: Our findings support the idea that ECT can increase CT in patients with unipolar and bipolar depression. It remains unclear whether these changes are related to the clinical response. Future larger studies with longer follow-up are warranted to thoroughly address the potential role of CT as a biomarker of clinical response after ECT.
2024
Toffanin, Tommaso; Cattarinussi, Giulia; Ghiotto, Niccolò; Lussignoli, Marialaura; Pavan, Chiara; Pieri, Luca; Schiff, Sami; Finatti, Francesco; Romagnolo, Francesca; Folesani, Federica; Nanni, Maria Giulia; Caruso, Rosangela; Zerbinati, Luigi; BELVEDERI MURRI, Martino; Ferrara, Maria; Pigato, Giorgio; Grassi, Luigi; Sambataro., Fabio
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2543490
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