Biomedical Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-28-2022


Objective: The two studies presented utilize neuroimaging data to evaluate potential therapeutic and safety biomarkers in depressed patients receiving Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT).

Method: The first study enrolled 41 depressed subjects receiving ECT from two independent sites and evaluated gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA+) in the anterior cingulate cortex with proton-spectroscopy contrasted with healthy controls and therapeutic and cognitive outcomes. The second study investigated 17 subjects receiving ECT and evaluated ictal theta power during ECT to electric dose measured by E-field modeling, therapeutic and cognitive outcomes.

Results: No significant difference was seen in GABA+ in depressed subjects receiving ECT compared to healthy controls and no association was found with therapeutic outcomes; however, change in GABA+ may be related to cognitive outcomes. Ictal theta power was found to be associated with dose (E-field strength) and cognitive outcomes.

Conclusion: Both ∆GABA+ and ictal theta power have potential to be ECT safety biomarkers.


electroconvulsive therapy, safety biomarkers, gaba, electroencephalogram, cognitive outcomes

Document Type




Degree Name

Biomedical Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

First Committee Member (Chair)

Annette Crisanti

Second Committee Member

Christopher Abbott

Third Committee Member

Davin Quinn