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An electroconvulsive therapy procedure impairs reconsolidation of episodic memories in humans

Nature Neuroscience volume 17, pages 204206 (2014) | Download Citation

Abstract

Despite accumulating evidence for a reconsolidation process in animals, support in humans, especially for episodic memory, is limited. Using a within-subjects manipulation, we found that a single application of electroconvulsive therapy following memory reactivation in patients with unipolar depression disrupted reactivated, but not non-reactivated, memories for an emotional episode in a time-dependent manner. Our results provide evidence for reconsolidation of emotional episodic memories in humans.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank O. Buno Heslinga for help with patient recruitment, S. Vosters for help with creating and piloting stimulus material, A. van Stegeren for advice on the creation of the stimulus material, and F. Battaglia, C. Doeler and E. Hermans for commenting on previous versions of the manuscript. This work was supported by research grants from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO 918.66.613) and the European Research Council (ERC-2010-AdG 268800) to G.F. B.A.S. is supported by a Marie Curie Career Integration grant (FP7-PEOPLE-2011-CIG 304248) and grant SAF2011-27766 from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

    • Marijn C W Kroes
    • , Indira Tendolkar
    • , Guido A van Wingen
    •  & Guillén Fernández
  2. Department of Psychiatry, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

    • Indira Tendolkar
  3. Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Essen, Essen, Germany.

    • Indira Tendolkar
  4. Department of Psychiatry, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

    • Guido A van Wingen
  5. Department of Psychiatry, Rijnstate Hospital, Arnhem, The Netherlands.

    • Jeroen A van Waarde
  6. Laboratory for Clinical Neuroscience, Centre for Biomedical Technology, UPM, Madrid, Spain.

    • Bryan A Strange
  7. Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

    • Guillén Fernández

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Contributions

All of the authors contributed to the design of the study. M.C.W.K. acquired and analyzed the data. M.C.W.K., B.A.S. and G.F. wrote the manuscript. I.T., G.A.v.W. and J.A.v.W. reviewed and approved the manuscript.

Competing interests

I.T. has received speaker fees from SERVIER Nederland Pharma B.V.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Marijn C W Kroes.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.3609

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