Objectives: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been related to the etiology of major depressive disorder (MDD). The findings involving the effects of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) on the VEGF levels have been conflicting. The aim was to examine the possible changes in the VEGF levels and their associations with clinical outcome in patients with MDD during ECT. Methods: The study comprised 30 patients suffering from MDD. Their plasma VEGF levels were measured at baseline and 2 and 4 hr after the first, fifth, and last ECT session. The severity of depression was quantified by the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). Results: The VEGF levels increased between the 2-hr and 4-hr measurements during the first (p =.003) and the fifth (p =.017) sessions. The baseline VEGF levels between individual ECT sessions remained unchanged during the ECT series. No correlations were found between the increased VEGF levels and the clinical outcome. Conclusions: Electroconvulsive therapy increased the VEGF levels repeatedly at the same time point in two different ECT sessions. These increases had no association with the response to ECT. Consequently, VEGF may act as a mediator in the mechanism of action of ECT.
- electroconvulsive therapy
- major depressive disorder
- vascular endothelial growth factor
Publication forum classification
- Publication forum level 1
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Behavioral Neuroscience