Antidepressant response to electroconvulsive therapy is sustained after catecholamine depletion.


Journal Article

Although the antidepressant mechanism of ECT is unknown, there are data to support noradrenergic involvement. Patients who had been recently successfully treated with ECT for major depression were studied in a randomized double-blind cross-over design comparing catecholamine depletion using alpha-methyl-para-tyrosine to a placebo procedure. Mean MADRS scores at baseline (4.2 SD 2.7) and following depletion (4.6 SD 1.1) were similar, despite a 57.7% decrease in serum homovanillic acid (HVA) and a 61.5% decrease in 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyenylethyleneglycol (MHPG). These data suggest that catecholamine availability may not be necessary for acutely maintaining an antidepressant response to ECT.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cassidy, F; Weiner, RD; Cooper, TB; Carroll, BJ

Published Date

  • August 1, 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 872 - 874

PubMed ID

  • 19376184

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19376184

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-4216

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2009.04.005


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England