We are one of several sites participating in the Genomics of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) International Consortium (GenECT-IC). One of the main aims of GenECT-IC is to study the genomics of ECT response and side effects in an international cohort of patients with unipolar / bipolar depression.
ECT is one of the most rapid and effective treatments for severe / treatment resistant unipolar and bipolar depressive episodes. International guidelines support the use of ECT where depression is resistant to medication and psychotherapy or where rapid response is desirable such as high suicidality, catatonia, and rapidly deteriorating physical status. However, one-third of those treated with ECT will not respond adequately. In addition, some people who receive ECT will experience side effects such as cognitive problems or raised intra-cranial pressure. Currently there is no way to predict poor response or treatment side effects. Analysis of the genome of ECT treated patients may identify biomarkers useful to predict ECT response and side effects in the future.