Moscrip TD, Terrace HS, Sackeim HA, Lisanby SH. Randomized controlled trial of the cognitive side-effects of magnetic seizure therapy (MST) and electroconvulsive shock (ECS). Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 9: 1-11

Department of Psychology, Columbia University, New York, New York, United States
The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 4.01). 02/2006; 9(1):1-11. DOI: 10.1017/S146114570500578X
Source: PubMed


Magnetic seizure therapy (MST) is under development as a means of improving the cognitive side-effect profile of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) by inducing more spatially delimited seizures that spare cortical regions involved in memory. We tested whether MST had a cognitive side-effect profile distinct from electroconvulsive shock (ECS) in a non-human primate model, using the Columbia University Primate Cognitive Profile, which has been shown to be sensitive to the cognitive effects of ECS. Using a within-subject cross-over design, daily ECS, MST, and sham (anaesthesia-only) interventions were administered in 5-wk blocks. Rhesus macaques (n = 2) were trained on a long-term memory task, an anterograde learning and memory task, and a combined anterograde and retrograde task where learning and memory were evaluated for new and previously learned 3-item lists. Acutely following each intervention, monkeys were tested on the cognitive battery twice daily, separated by a 3-h retention interval. Overall, monkeys were least accurate following ECS (p's < 0.05) compared to sham and MST. This effect was most marked for long-term memory of a constant target, short-term memory of a variable target and recall of previously learned 3-item lists. Monkeys were slowest to complete all tasks following ECS (p's = 0.0001). Time to task completion following MST did not differ from sham. These findings suggest that MST results in a more benign acute cognitive side-effect profile than ECS in this model, consistent with initial observations with human MST.

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    • "However, MST causes physiologically different seizures than ECT (Cycowicz, Luber, Spellman, & Lisanby, 2009; Lisanby et al., 2003a). The potential utility of more focal stimulation is suggested by neuroanatomical studies in which animals appear to show fewer cellular changes in the hippocampus; additional evidence suggests reduced impairment of memory and cognition compared to ECT (Dwork et al., 2004, 2009; Lisanby et al., 2003b; Kosel, Frick, Lisanby, Fisch, & Schlaepfer, 2003; Moscrip, Terrace, Sackeim, & Lisanby, 2004, 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex, heterogeneous disorder that develops following trauma and often includes perceptual, cognitive, affective, physiological, and psychological features. PTSD is characterized by hyperarousal, intrusive thoughts, exaggerated startle response, flashbacks, nightmares, sleep disturbances, emotional numbness, and persistent avoidance of trauma-associated stimuli. The efficacy of available treatments for PTSD may result in part from relief of associated depressive and anxiety-related symptoms in addition to treatment of core symptoms that derive from reexperiencing, numbing, and hyperarousal. Diverse, heterogeneous mechanisms of action and the ability to act broadly or very locally may enable brain stimulation devices to address PTSD core symptoms in more targeted ways. To achieve this goal, specific theoretical bases derived from novel, well-designed research protocols will be necessary. Brain stimulation devices include both long-used and new electrical and magnetic devices. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and Cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) have both been in use for decades; transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), magnetic seizure therapy (MST), deep brain stimulation (DBS), transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), and vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) have been developed recently, over approximately the past twenty years. The efficacy of brain stimulation has been demonstrated as a treatment for psychiatric and neurological disorders such as anxiety (CES), depression (ECT, CES, rTMS, VNS, DBS), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) (DBS), essential tremor, dystonia (DBS), epilepsy (DBS, VNS), Parkinson Disease (DBS), pain (CES), and insomnia (CES). To date, limited data on brain stimulation for PTSD offer only modest guidance. ECT has shown some efficacy in reducing comorbid depression in PTSD patients but has not been demonstrated to improve most core PTSD symptoms. CES and VNS have shown some efficacy in reducing anxiety, findings that may suggest possible utility in relieving PTSD-associated anxiety. Treatment of animal models of PTSD with DBS suggests potential human benefit. Additional research and novel treatment options for PTSD are urgently needed. The potential usefulness of brain stimulation in treating PTSD deserves further exploration.
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    • "For a serial learning test measuring recall memory for old lists, the ECS condition resulted in substantial impairment relative to sham and MST (Moscrip et al., 2006). Spellman et al. (2008) followed the study of Moscrip et al. (2006) to examine whether the neurocognitive effects of MST followed dose-dependent rules, and to examine the effects of ECS and MST on working memory for serial and spatial information . Spellman et al. followed the research method established in the Moscrip experiment, except the MST was delivered at 100 Hz for 10 s (total of 1000 pulses) with a round, pediatric-sized coil. "
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    ABSTRACT: Magnetic seizure therapy (MST) is a novel neurotherapeutic intervention in development for the treatment of major affective disorders. Like other neurotherapeutic strategies such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a primary interest will be to monitor the associated neurocognitive effects. Thus, the purpose of this systematic review was to synthesize the available data on the neurocognitive effects of MST. The authors performed two independent literature searches with the following terms terms: MST, magnetic, magnetic seizure therapy, depression, neurocognition, cognitive, preclinical. We included in this review a total of eleven articles that mentioned MST and neurocognition in the abstract. The articles were divided into three methodological domains that included virtual computer simulations, preclinical studies, and clinical investigations. Collectively, the available evidence suggests MST has little to no adverse cognitive effects. Specifically, virtual computer simulations found the magnetic field was localized to grey matter, and preclinical studies found no neurocortical or neurocognitive sequelae. Clinical investigations found MST to be associated with rapid reorientation and intact anterograde and retrograde memory. Future investigations using translational methods are warranted to confirm these findings and to further determine the effects of MST on neurocognitive functions.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2011 · International Review of Psychiatry
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    • "Schulze- Rauschenbach et al., 2005 for a similar approach comparing ECT with rTMS). Primate studies (Moscrip et al., 2006) as well as preliminary human studies (Kosel et al., 2003a; Lisanby et al., 2003b; Spellman et al., 2008) revealed no cognitive side effects Table 4 Recovery and Reorientation times (minutes) after MST/ECT treatments. "
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    ABSTRACT: Major depression is a common mental health problem and associated with significant morbidity and mortality, including impaired social and physical functioning and increased risk for suicide. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is highly efficacious in treatment-resistant depressive disorders, but cognitive side effects are frequently associated with the treatment. Magnetic seizure therapy (MST) is a form of convulsive therapy, using magnetic fields in order to induce therapeutic seizures. First studies suggested that cognitive side effects of MST, including postictal recovery time, are more benign than those resulting from ECT treatment. In this open-label study we tested the hypothesis that MST is associated with clinically significant antidepressant effects in treatment-resistant depression (TRD) as an add-on therapy to a controlled pharmacotherapy. Twenty patients suffering from TRD were randomly assigned to receive either MST or ECT starting from July 2006 until November 2008. Primary outcome measure was antidepressant response assessed by Montgomery Åsberg Depression Scale. Secondary outcome measures included Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Hamilton Anxiety Scale, Beck Depression Inventory and 90-Item Symptom Checklist. Antidepressant response (improvement of 50% in MADRS ratings) was statistically significant and of similar size in both treatment groups. Cognitive side effects were observed in neither group. Characteristics in MST- and ECT-induced seizures were comparable, especially regarding ictal activity and postictal suppression. Thus, MST may be a potential alternative to ECT if efficacy and safety are validated in larger clinical trials.
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