Several lines of evidence have shown the involvement of the glutamatergic system in the function of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). In particular, patients with treatment resistant depression (TRD) and chronic depression have lower levels of glutamate/glutamine than controls, and ECT can reverse this deficit. Genetic factors might contribute to modulating the mechanisms underlying ECT. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between three polymorphisms (rs1954787, rs4936554 and rs11218030) of the glutamate receptor ionotropic kainate 4 (GRIK4) gene and responsiveness to ECT treatment in a sample of one hundred individuals, TRD or depressive Bipolar Disorder patients resistant to pharmacological treatments. The results revealed that GRIK4 variants were significantly associated with the response to ECT. In particular, we found that patients carrying the G allele of the GRIK4 rs11218030 had a significantly poorer response to ECT (p = 2.71 × 10-4), showing five times the risk of relapse after ECT compared to the AA homozygotes. Analogously, patients carrying the GG rs1954787 genotype and rs4936554 A allele carriers presented a double risk of lack of response after ECT (p = 0.013 and p = 0.040, respectively). In conclusion, the current study provides new evidence, indicating that some GRIK4 variants modulate the response to ECT in patients with depression resistant to treatment, suggesting a role for kainate receptor modulation.
- Electroconvulsive therapy
- GRIK4 polymorphisms
- Major depressive disorder
- Treatment resistant depression
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