Preventing Relapse After Successful ECT for Depression– A randomized controlled trial on lithium as add-on to personalized maintenance ECT. 01/10/2018 - 30/09/2022

Abstract

Although electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an effective treatment for depression, preventing relapse after successful ECT remains a major challenge. In the PRASED-study, a large multicentre RCT, we evaluate the effectiveness of three strategies to reduce relapse: an algorithm-based symptom-driven form of maintenance-ECT (M-ECT), with antidepressants, with or without lithium. In the four treatment centers, patients that are referred for ECT for depression will be screened for eligibility. In phase 1 300 patients are treated with an acute course of brief pulse ECT, combined with open label nortriptyline or venlafaxine. Patients that achieve remission, are considered eligible for phase 2 of the study. In this continuation phase, open label antidepressants are continued and algorithm-based, symptom-driven M-ECT is started for the next six months. Patients will be randomized to receive either lithium or not. After six months, patients enter phase 3, a naturalistic follow-up of mood at 3 and 6 months after completion of phase 2. The combination of antidepressants, personalized M-ECT and lithium has been studied in an elderly population and proved to be very effective, but the efficacy in a severely depressed population of all ages has never been assessed. This project holds great promise for reducing relapse rates after successful ECT, thereby being of potential impact for a vulnerable group of patients with an often recurring and debilitating major depressive disorder. Apart from a significant positive medical impact, reducing relapse rates eventually also has a socio-economic impact by reducing health care costs.

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Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in the Major Depressive Disorder : further research into ECT impact on psychomotor and cognitive symptoms and to optimize maintenance treatment schedules. 01/08/2014 - 15/11/2018

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand Emmaus. UA provides Emmaus research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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