The Principles of Electroconvulsive Therapy Based on Correlations of Schizophrenia and Epilepsy: A View From Brain Networks

Front Neurol. 2019 Jun 27;10:688. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.00688. eCollection 2019.


Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) was established based on Meduna's hypothesis that there is an antagonism between schizophrenia and epilepsy, and that the induction of a seizure could alleviate the symptoms of schizophrenia. However, subsequent investigations of the mechanisms of ECT have largely ignored this originally established relationship between these two disorders. With the development of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), brain-network studies have demonstrated that schizophrenia and epilepsy share common dysfunctions in the default-mode network (DMN), saliency network (SN), dorsal-attention network (DAN), and central-executive network (CEN). Additionally, fMRI-defined brain networks have also been shown to be useful in the evaluation of the treatment efficacy of ECT. Here, we compared the ECT-induced changes in the pathological conditions between schizophrenia and epilepsy in order to offer further insight as to whether the mechanisms of ECT are truly based on antagonistic and/or affinitive relationships between these two disorders.

Keywords: brain networks; electroconvulsive therapy (ECT); graph theory; schizophrenia; temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE).

Publication types

  • Review