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Research projects

Prognostic predictors of ECT for depression

About this project

Project information

Project status

In progress


Yang Cao

Research subject

Depression can be a serious illness that affects both the individual and society. In various studies, the proportion of people who suffer from depression at some point in their lives has been estimated at between 7.5 and 17.5%. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a treatment in which the patient's brain is stimulated with electrical impulses to induce an epileptic seizure. In a treatment series, the electric treatment is given a few times a week for a month or so.
The effect of ECT varies: some patients' symptoms decrease, while others are not helped by the treatment. Although the patients treated are asymptomatic, the depressive symptoms often return later. To counteract the recurrence of disease symptoms, patients can be post-treated with various medications as well as with sparse ECT where treatment is given once a week or less often.

This project aims to investigate how much lithium medication after ECT for inpatients prevents readmission for depression. In the second place, we are also interested in how other treatment, individual and social factors can prevent readmission for depressive symptoms. To help us, we have register data from the quality register ECT, the patient register, the drug register, the cause of death register, and the database LISA, which contains data on individuals' socio-economic situation. Data from the various registers are identified at the individual level. If a patient who has been enrolled and received ECT for depression is discharged, the individual can then be followed until the person in question is re-enrolled. With that information, we can see if there is any difference in time to recurrence between patients who take a certain medicine and those who do not, between men and women etc.

Research funding bodies

  • Region Örebro County