Effects of repeated electroconvulsive shock on methamphetamine-induced behavioral abnormalities in mice

Brain Stimul. 2012 Jul;5(3):393-401. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2011.04.004. Epub 2011 May 10.


Background: Methamphetamine abuse and addiction can lead to impaired cognition and psychosis, and there is no effective treatment for methamphetamine-induced mental illnesses.

Objective: The aim of this study was to test whether repeated electroconvulsive shock (ECS) treatment has a therapeutic effect on methamphetamine-induced abnormal behavior in mice.

Methods: To test the effects of ECS on methamphetamine-induced psychosis, ICR mice were randomly assigned to administration with either chronic methamphetamine or saline injection, and then both groups underwent post-treatment with either six once-daily ECS treatments or parallel sham controls. Prepulse inhibition (PPI), the novel object recognition test (NORT) and behavioral sensitization were performed for behavioral evaluation between the groups. To test the effects of ECS on methamphetamine addiction, methamphetamine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) was examined after ECS and drug-primed reinstatement in the other set of experiments.

Results: The animals receiving repeated ECS following pretreatment with methamphetamine showed significant improvement in PPI and NORT, but not in behavioral sensitization. In the CPP study, the ECS-treated animals achieved extinction of place preference, but relapsed after a low-dose reinstatement of methamphetamine.

Conclusions: The results indicated that repeated ECS treatments can ameliorate impairment to the sensorimotor gating and recognition memory elicited by methamphetamine, and temporarily suppress the reinforcement induced by methamphetamine in mice. Our findings suggest electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may have potential applications with regard to the treatment of methamphetamine psychosis and addiction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Mental Disorders / physiopathology
  • Mental Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Methamphetamine / toxicity*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Methamphetamine