Consciousness and how it got to be that way

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Electroconvulsive Therapy and Attention-Related Connectivity

Perrin et al show that ECT reduces left frontal connectivity, specifically in Brodmann Areas 44, 45 and 46. 44 and 45 are Broca's region and 46 is implicated in attention and inhibition. Of special interest, anterior cingulotomy for refractory depression resects the same area. One interpretation of these results provides further support for the hypothesis of depressive realism and working memory (and anterior cingulate + DLPFC) hyperfunction in depression.

Left DLPFC voxels showing reduced global functional connectivity, after ECT (not adjusted for treatment outcome.)


  1. fMRI does not show neurons firing. It just shows levels of oxygenated blood. So this area has less blood which could mean damaged neurones or damaged blood vessels. Either way the brain has been damaged. The damage seems to be where the electrode was. ECT should be banned.

    Breggin com
    click on ECT tab

    professionalsagainstect com/interviewspresentations html
    watch video

    mindfreedom org/kb/mental-health-abuse/electroshock/ect-review-2010-read-bentall.pdf/view?searchterm=ect
    Read and Bentall’s study of ECT safety and efficacy

    professionalsagainstect com/resources html
    see Harold Sackeim study

    epetitions direct gov uk/petitions/16278
    UK Government e-petition

  2. You're correct, fMRI does not show neurons firing, and the treatment may damage brain tissue. There are many places in medicine where damaging dysfunctional tissue is the goal. ECT is a well-studied treatment and remains an important treatment tool, and it's used consensually (at a guess, the majority of the time), so banning it is not advisable.

  3. I wonder if the ECT is reducing the depressive's ability to attend to negative internal dialogue.