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The longitudinal effect of electroconvulsive therapy in the rodent model of Parkinson's disease Choi, Jung-Un

Abstract

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a safe, non-invasive treatment that is widely used to treat psychiatric disorders. Clinical findings suggest that ECT also has positive effects in Parkinson's disease (PD), and show variable length improvements in motor symptoms. Currently, only acute studies have been performed in 6-OHDA lesioned rats to investigate he effects of Electroconvulsive shock (ECS), showing significant improvements in gross motor function and enhanced striatal D l and D3 receptor binding, 2 days following treatment. In this study, we hypothesized that there are persistent effects of E C S in 6-OHDA rats with 1) improved motor behaviour and 2) enhanced D l receptor binding in the striatum. A multidisciplinary approach combining both behavioural tests and autoradiography was used to investigate the persistence of ECS. 6-OHDA lesioned rats were randomly divided into ECS or sham treatment groups. Motor behaviour was assessed using two nonpharmacological behavioural tests, the tail flick test to evaluate spontaneous rotational behaviour and the tapered ledged beam-walking test to examine hind Hmb dysfunction. Animals were sacrificed at 2, 14 and 28 days following the treatments, and their brains were processed to determine dopamine receptor binding. In conclusion, compared to sham-treated animals, ECS treatment significantly decreased spontaneous rotational behaviour and improved hind limb function after 2 and 14 days posttreatment, with return to basehne values at 28 days. However, in contrast to earlier studies, ECS treatment had no apparent effect on striatal D l receptor binding at any of the three time points. The possible reason for this discrepancy will be discussed in detail. To the best of our knowledge, this study provides the first comprehensive investigation of the longitudinal effects of repeated ECS treatment in the 6-OHDA lesioned rats. ECS-treated animals showed prolonged motor improvements lasting at least two weeks. This study provides further understanding of the longitudinal effects of E C T and its potential use as an adjunct treatment for PD.

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