Electroconvulsive therapy and the brain: evidence for increased dopamine-mediated responses.
Costain DW., Cowen PJ., Gelder MG., Grahame-Smith DG.
The growth-hormone (GH) response to subcutaneous administration of the dopamine agonist, apomorphine (0.005 mg/kg), was assessed in 15 depressed patients at the beginning and at the end of a course of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). After ECT there was a significant increase in the GH response to apomorphine, supporting the hypothesis that ECT produces an enhancement of dopamine-mediated responses in the brain. Additional studies in depressed patients receiving other antidepressant treatment suggested that the increase in apomorphine response following ECT was not attributable either to concurrent antidepressant medication or to clinical recovery from depressive illness.