Electric field causes volumetric changes in the human brain

Miklos Argyelan, Leif Oltedal, Zhi-De Deng, Benjamin Wade, Marom Bikson, Andrea Joanlanne, Sohag Sanghani, Hauke Bartsch, Marta Cano, M. Dale Anders, Udo Dannlowski, Annemiek Dols, Verena Enneking, Randall Espinoza, Ute Kessler, L. Narr Katherine, J. Oedegaard Ketil, L. Oudega Mardien, Ronny Redlich, L. Stek MaxAkihiro Takamiya, Louise Emsell, Filip Bouckaert, Pascal Sienaert, Jesus Pujol, Indira Tendolkar, Philip van Eijndhoven, Georgios Petrides, K. Malhotra Anil, Christopher Abbott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Recent longitudinal neuroimaging studies in patients with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) suggest local effects of electric stimulation (lateralized) occur in tandem with global seizure activity (generalized). We used electric field (EF) modeling in 151 ECT treated patients with depression to determine the regional relationships between EF, unbiased longitudinal volume change, and antidepressant response across 85 brain regions. The majority of regional volumes increased significantly, and volumetric changes correlated with regional electric field (t =3.77, df = 83, r = 0.38, p = 0.0003). After controlling for nuisance variables (age, treatment number, and study site), we identified two regions (left amygdala and left hippocampus) with a strong relationship between EF and volume change (FDR corrected p<0.01). However, neither structural volume changes nor electric field was associated with antidepressant response. In summary, we showed that high electrical fields are strongly associated with robust volume changes in a dose-dependent fashion.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere49115
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2019

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