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Comparison of Three Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Techniques for the Treatment of Major Depression

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Identifier:
First received: September 24, 2003
Last updated: January 16, 2008
Last verified: January 2008

This study will compare the antidepressant benefits and cognitive side effects of three different types of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in people with unipolar or bipolar depression.

Condition Intervention
Procedure: Electroconvulsive Therapy

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double-Blind
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Comparing Three Electrode Placements to Optimize ECT

Further study details as provided by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):

Estimated Enrollment: 360
Study Start Date: February 2003
Primary Completion Date: May 2006 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:

ECT is an important treatment for severely depressed people who do not respond adequately to, or are intolerant of, antidepressant medication. Traditionally, ECT has been administered with one of two standard techniques: bilateral and right unilateral electrode placement. However, these techniques are limited by either low efficacy or high cognitive impairment. Recently, an additional technique for ECT administration has shown promise in preliminary studies: bifrontal ECT. This study will compare this technique to the two traditional ECT techniques in treating people with depressive symptoms.

Participants in this study will be randomly assigned to receive standard bilateral ECT, high-dose right unilateral ECT, or bifrontal ECT in their index course. Depression symptoms, neuropsychological status, and quality of life will be measured throughout the course of the ECT treatment, one week after, and at a 2-month follow-up visit. This study will run for 4 years.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosis of unipolar or bipolar depression
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00069407

United States, Minnesota
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, Minnesota, United States, 55905
United States, New Jersey
Newark, New Jersey, United States, 07103
United States, New York
Northshore/Long Island Jewish Hillside Hospital
Glen Oaks, New York, United States, 11004
United States, Texas
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, Texas, United States, 75235
Sponsors and Collaborators
  More Information

No publications provided by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Additional publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number): Identifier: NCT00069407     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R01 MH67201, DSIR 83-ATSO
Study First Received: September 24, 2003
Last Updated: January 16, 2008
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):
Bipolar Disorder

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Depressive Disorder
Behavioral Symptoms
Mental Disorders
Mood Disorders processed this record on November 23, 2014