Electroconvulsive Therapy Attenuates Dendritic Arborization in the Basolateral Amygdala

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Stress and depression are associated with aberrant neuroplasticity in the amygdala: there is increased dendritic arborization and synaptogenesis, perhaps explaining the increased anxiety and fear that are often apparent in depressed patients. Light microscopy images are presented, which show that 6 once-daily high (but not low)-dose electroconvulsive shocks attenuated dendritic arborization in the basolateral amygdala of Wistar rats, which changes were apparent even 1 month after the last electroconvulsive shock. These changes may explain a part of the mechanism of action of electroconvulsive therapy in conditions such as depression and posttraumatic stress disorder.

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