Date: 19 Sep 2005 19:40:10 -0700
In hard competition with US scientists, the swedish doctorate Johan Hellsten in his research has made a novel discovery: Electro convulsive therapy leads to formation of new bloodvessels in the brain.It is just in late research it has been known that bloodvessels in the brain are playing an important role in stressrelated conditions and depression.
His findings will be published soon in the highly renowned scientific magazine Biologocal psychiatry.
That depression causes changes in important areas of the brain , is a well known and established fact in the psychiatric research field.The Hippocampus, for instance, an area important to memory , shrinks in the depressed individual and the longer the depression , the smaller hippocampus gets.
One explanation to this could be that the number of new braincells are reduced by stress and depression. But Hellstens research points to another possible explanation -that depresion or long-term stress can lead to the atrophy of bloodvessels in certain areas of the brain.
- It is not that hard to comprehend that a reduced bloodflow to whatever organ in the human body , causes the organ to wither away, Johan Hellsten says.
Under the supervision of senior psychiatrist Andres Tingstr=F6m at the psychiatric clinic with the University Hospital in Lund, he has investigated if ECT,in earlier days called "chock treatment", can stimulate the formation of new bloodvessels in the brain.Previous research has shown that grey and white (glia) cells in the brain atrophiates due to depression and are reborn with ECT treatment.
Now Johan Hellsten has shown that the formation of new bloodvessels is stimulated with ECT treatment.
- After 10 treatments, the number of bloodvessels increased with 30%, Hellsten says.
Bloodflow to these areas of the brain, subsequently is normalized which in turn counteracts the volumereduction in hippocampus.
-There are much research still to be done before all mechanisms involved in severe depressional states are known and clarified in all its aspects, Hellsten says.
Despite the fact that ECT as a treatment is faster and more efficient compared to antidepressent medication,the method is still controversional with some people (Only the ignorants-my comment)Some people has the conception that ECT causes damages to the brain. Scientific research has shown the case to be in the oppsite direction.
Depression =E4r en allvarlig sjukdom som verkar vara f=F6rknippad med skador i hj=E4rnan. Var tionde kvinna och var tjugonde man ber=E4knas insjukna varje =E5r.
When ECT is used the patient has to be under anasthesia and that is why the treatment is primarily used in the most severe cases. New research findings of the moleculare mechanisms involved in depression will probably lead to the development of new antidepressant medicines.
-Next step in my research will be to investigate whether antidepressant medication can stimulate the formation of new bloodvessels in the brain or if this effect is unique to ECT, Hellsten says.
This news article can be read in swedish at: