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Electroconvulsive Therapy Attenuates Dendritic Arborization in the Basolateral Amygdala

Khaleel, Nagarchi MSc (Medical Anatomy)*; Roopa, Ravindranath MBBS, MS (Anatomy)*; Smitha, Jangama S.M. MSc (Medical Anatomy)*; Andrade, Chittaranjan MD

Journal of ECT:
doi: 10.1097/YCT.0b013e318282a6b1
Images in Clinical ECT

Abstract: Stress and depression are associated with aberrant neuroplasticity in the amygdala: there is increased dendritic arborization and synaptogenesis, perhaps explaining the increased anxiety and fear that are often apparent in depressed patients. Light microscopy images are presented, which show that 6 once-daily high (but not low)-dose electroconvulsive shocks attenuated dendritic arborization in the basolateral amygdala of Wistar rats, which changes were apparent even 1 month after the last electroconvulsive shock. These changes may explain a part of the mechanism of action of electroconvulsive therapy in conditions such as depression and posttraumatic stress disorder.

Author Information

From the *Department of Anatomy, St. John’s Medical College; and †Department of Psychopharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India.

Received for publication November 27, 2012; accepted December 11, 2012.

Reprints: Chittaranjan Andrade, MD, Department of Psychopharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore 560 029, India (e-mail:

The authors have no conflicts of interest or financial disclosures to report.

Ravindranath Roopa and Jangama S.M. Smitha contributed equally as second authors.

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins