Klinik für Psychische Gesundheit


The Genetics of ECT International Consortium (gen-ECT-ic) is a collaboration between ECT providers and researchers all over the globe.
Gen-ECT-ic is one of the projects currently being run as part of the  Psychiatric Genomics Consortium’s Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) working group. The goal of gen-ECT-ic is to shed light on the genetics involved in severe major depressive disorder and patient response to ECT.
Partners and Results to date


  • Goal: to recruit >30,000 subjects that have received ECT for depression to
    • obtain DNA
    • extract clinical information using centralized online data collection element
    • study the genomics of severe depressive disorders and response to ECT
  • Bedside --> Bench
    • Genetically informed analyses to further interrogate molecular pathways/ circuits
    • Identify mechanisms behind ECT’s antidepressant/mood stabilization effects
  • Bench --> Practice
    • Predict:
      • Good/Poor response, side effects to ECT
      • Poor response to medications/ therapy
        • Should ECT be recommended earlier based on genetics?

  • Bernhard Baune, PGC
  • Declan McLaughlin, International Society for ECT and Neurostimulation
  • Takahhiro Soda, UNC
  • Patrick Sullivan, PGC
  • Peter Zandi, NNDC

Data collection

The questionnaire can be completed
a) as a paper version
b) as an electronic data capture version using REDCap, (a secure, web based platform compatible with desktops, tablets, and Android/Apple based mobile phones)
Data can also be collected offline and synced to the database later via internet.

Ways of data acquisition

to take part in the study sides need to be able to provide data from one or more of three ways:

  • Retrospective data collection I of patients who had ECT in the past
    • data can be taken from biobanks, registries, case notes
    • required data: diagnosis, age, gender, course of ECT in the past
  • Retrospective data collection II of patients who had ECT in the past
    • case notes or stored data are accessible;
    • using this approach the required clinical data and possible some of the extended data can be Collected
  • Prospective data collection of patients coming in for a course of ECT
    • data can be collected before and after course of ECT- treatment
    • Minimal and extended data con be collected




  • standardised assessment tool, designed to be co-administered during routine clinical practise
  • contains
    • a short mandatory set of questions (10 minutes for completion )
    • a non-compulsory extended set of questions (25-30 minutes for completion)
  • Blood collection (40ml)
    • a) whole blood for DNA (essential)
    • b) RNA, Serum, Plasma (desirable)
  • Alternative Saliva collection is possible

Modular sections including:

  • general
  • sociodemographics
  • psychiatrics
  • medical history
  • response to ECT
  • side effects to ECT (cognitive dysfunctions, physical problems etc.)
  • function

Become a partner

Everyone who

  • Has access to patients with TRD and/or
  • Treats patients with (unipolar/bipolar) depression within an ECT service (either acute and/or maintenance ECT)
  • has the ability to include about 100 patients during entire study period

is invited to participate!

Please contact us:



For more information please contact

If interested in joining, or for more details please go to Tinyurl.com/genECTic