Impact of Inflammation on Cognitive Functioning After Electroconvulsive Therapy in Older Patients with Depression with and Without White Matter Hyperintensities

Angela Carlier, Annemiek Dols, Mardien Oudega, Pascal Sienaert, Filip Bouckaert, Max L. Stek, Piet Eikelenboom, Eric van Exel, Didi Rhebergen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Should we treat older, patients with depression with white matter hyperintensities (WMH) with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)? WMH, inflammation, depression and cognitive functioning are suggested to be intertwined. Hence, this study investigates whether the association between inflammation and cognition is different in patients with depression with or without WMH. Methods: Cognitive functioning was assessed using the Mini–Mental State Examination during and after a course of ECT in 77 older patients with depression. Serum samples (C–reactive protein [CRP], interleukin-6 [IL-6], interleukin-10 [IL-10] and tumour necrosis factor–alpha [TNF-α]) and 3T magnetic resonance imaging were obtained prior to ECT. Results: An interaction effect was found for IL-10, but not for CRP, IL-6 or TNF-α. Conclusion: In general, the association between inflammatory markers and cognition in patients with depression treated with ECT is not different in patients with WMH compared to patients without WMH.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-518
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number4
Early online date16 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • Depression
  • cognition
  • cytokines
  • electroconvulsive therapy
  • hyperintensities
  • inflammation
  • white matter

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