Longitudinal resting-state network connectivity changes in electroconvulsive therapy patients compared to healthy controls

Joey P.A.J. Verdijk*, Laurens A. van de Mortel, Freek ten Doesschate, Julia C.M. Pottkämper, Sven Stuiver, Willem B. Bruin, Christopher C. Abbott, Miklos Argyelan, Olga T. Ousdal, Hauke Bartsch, Katherine Narr, Indira Tendolkar, Vince Calhoun, Joshua Lukemire, Ying Guo, Leif Oltedal, Guido van Wingen, Jeroen A. van Waarde

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objective: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is effective for major depressive episodes. Understanding of underlying mechanisms has been increased by examining changes of brain connectivity but studies often do not correct for test-retest variability in healthy controls (HC). In this study, we investigated changes in resting-state networks after ECT in a multicenter study. Methods: Functional resting-state magnetic resonance imaging data, acquired before start and within one week after ECT, from 90 depressed patients were analyzed, as well as longitudinal data of 24 HC. Group-information guided independent component analysis (GIG-ICA) was used to spatially restrict decomposition to twelve canonical resting-state networks. Selected networks of interest were the default mode network (DMN), salience network (SN), and left and right frontoparietal network (LFPN, and RFPN). Whole-brain voxel-wise analyses were used to assess group differences at baseline, group by time interactions, and correlations with treatment effectiveness. In addition, between-network connectivity and within-network strengths were computed. Results: Within-network strength of the DMN was lower at baseline in ECT patients which increased after ECT compared to HC, after which no differences were detected. At baseline, ECT patients showed lower whole-brain voxel-wise DMN connectivity in the precuneus. Increase of within-network strength of the LFPN was correlated with treatment effectiveness. We did not find whole-brain voxel-wise or between-network changes. Conclusion: DMN within-network connectivity normalized after ECT. Within-network increase of the LFPN in ECT patients was correlated with higher treatment effectiveness. In contrast to earlier studies, we found no whole-brain voxel-wise changes, which highlights the necessity to account for test-retest effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-147
Number of pages8
JournalBrain stimulation
Issue number1
Early online date13 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • BOLD imaging
  • Functional networks
  • Major depressive disorder
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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