Post-ECT increases in MRI regional T2 relaxation times and their relationship to cognitive side effects: a pilot study.
Diehl DJ., Keshavan MS., Kanal E., Nebes RD., Nichols TE., Gillen JS.
This pilot study examined the hypothesis that magnetic resonance imaging T2 relaxation times of specific brain regions increase after electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and that these increases are related to the cognitive side effects of ECT. Six depressed patients undergoing unilateral ECT were studied. The results demonstrate significant post-ECT T2 increases in the right and left thalamus, and suggest a correlation between regional T2 increase and anterograde memory impairment following ECT. These findings are consistent with a post-ECT increase in brain water content (perhaps secondary to a breakdown of the blood-brain barrier) and suggest that this process may be related to the memory impairment following ECT.