Clinical Research Details

Descriptive Information
Assessing the Impact of Stimulus Strength and Duration on Seizure Threshold and Time for Orientation Recovery

Ziad Nahas


Clinical Research - Clinical Trials (phase 0, 1,2 3 & 4)  

Phase 3  

Mark Doumit
Extension: 5666
Conditions and Keywords
Depression, Treatment-Resistant Depression ,Schizophrenia,Psychosis
Electroconvulsive Therapy,Seizure Threshold
Study Design
Safety and/or Efficacy Study
Two session repeated measures design
N/A: Not Applicable
Single Group
N/A: Single arm study
Eligibility and IRB
Min: 18
Max: 90

This study will compare the efficiency of seizure induction at two electrical current intensities. Thirty patients referred for Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT) at the AUBMC Department of Psychiatry will participate. Participants will undergo two sessions to determine seizure threshold (titration sessions) as part of an ECT course. During a titration session, the treatment dose is gradually increased until a seizure is induced (thus determining seizure threshold).A current of 600mA will be administered in one titration session, while 900mA will be used in the other. Participants will receive both levels of the stimulus in a randomly determined order.

The sample will include all patients between 18 & 90 years old referred to ECT by a psychiatrist for any of the following diagnoses; major depressive disorder, bipolar Disorder, or any other mood disorder including schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, other functional psychoses, or rapid cycling bipolar disorder.

Participants will be patients of the AUBMC Department of Psychiatry who have been referred for Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT) by their physician. The principal and co-investigators, in conjunction with the patients’ physician, will inform the patients’ of their eligibility to take part in the present study. As part of this process it will be made very clear to the patient that their participation would be voluntary, and that should they refuse to take part in the study, their treatment course will proceed normally. Should the patient show interest, they will be presented with the informed consent document.

  • Age between 18 and 90 years (inclusive)
  • Diagnosis of major depressive disorder, bipolar Disorder, or any other mood disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, other functional psychosis, or rapid cycling bipolar disorder
  • Referred or indicated for ECT  
  • Willing and capable of providing informed consent

  • History of neurological illness or insult other than conditions associated with psychotropic exposure (e.g., tardive dyskinesia)
  • Alcohol or substance abuse or dependence in the past year (RDC)
  • Secondary diagnosis of a delirium, dementia, or amnestic disorder (DSM-IV), pregnancy, or epilepsy
  • Cardiovascular and/or pulmonary condition that would pose a higher risk for anesthesia
  • Received ECT in the last 2 months