Journal article

SELECTIVE EFFECTS OF ECT ON HYPOTHALAMIC PITUITARY ACTIVITY

LJ WHALLEY, JM EAGLES, GMR BOWLER, JG BENNIE, HR DICK, RJ MCGUIRE, G FINK

PSYCHOLOGICAL MEDICINE | CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS | Published : 1987

Abstract

The hypothesis that ECT produces selective effects on hypothalamic-pituitary activity was investigated by determining the effect of ECT on pituitary hormone release in nine depressed patients. After ECT there were massive and rapid increases in the plasma concentrations of nicotine- and oestrogen-stimulated neurophysin (NSN and ESN), prolactin (PRL) and adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), smaller increases in plasma luteinizing hormone (LH) and cortisol, a significant decrease in plasma growth hormone (GH) concentration but no change in plasma thyrotropin (TSH). There was significant attenuation of PRL responses with repeated ECT. The hormonal responses to ECT cannot simply be attributed to stress, ..

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