Has Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) been recommended to you for a mood disorder?

If you have had ECT — or if it has been recommended as a possible therapy by your doctor — you may qualify to be part of this study.


What is this study about?

This research study investigates the genetic factors that contribute to mood disorders, specifically major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. This study also explores how genetic factors contribute to a patient’s response to Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT).

This study is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health. It is being done to increase the body of knowledge of the genetic factors that contribute to  mood disorders, knowledge that will help predict whether an individual is likely to be a good candidate for ECT. 

What is ECT?

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is a procedure which involves small electric currents passing through the brain. ECT, which seems to change brain chemistry, works for some patients where other mental health treatments have been unsuccessful.


Who may qualify for this study?

People with major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder may apply to join this study. To participate, you must be:


*You may be still eligible to participate if you have been recommended for ECT but instead received treatment with rTMS or ketamine.


What to expect

What you can expect as a study participant?

This is a research study, and all participants are volunteers. Here’s what to expect if you decide to participate.

The Process

You will be asked to provide a blood or a saliva sample at one of the study sites, likely during a regular clinical visit.

Medical Details

You will be asked to provide permission to access your medical records in order for the study researchers to glean relevant clinical data about your mood disorder and your treatment for it. You may be asked to provide information on your demographics and medical history.


If this research is successful in finding genes that influence the development of mood disorders or response to treatment, it will lead to better care with improved outcomes for individuals with these illnesses

Possible Risks

The greatest risks include discomfort, bruising, and infection from the blood draw.


As part of this study, we will collect information about your health and your individual genes. However, direct identifiers (such as your name or date of birth) will be removed and instead your information will be coded before it is shared with researchers.


Where are participating ECT centers located?

This study is being conducted at multiple ECT centers across the country.  Their locations can be found on the map.  

If you are receiving care at one of these ECT centers, you may join the study by talking with your treating doctor.  Or, you can compete the form HERE to give us information and we will contact you directly about participating in the study.

Are you an ECT center and want to be a study location?

If you are an ECT center and would like to participate in the study, please contact us by email at JHMoods@jh.edu.


See if you qualify for the study

Please answer these questions to see whether you qualify to be part of this study. Your answers will only be used for this study and will not affect your treatment.

Get help

If you or someone you know is having a psychiatric emergency, please call 911

If your mental or emotional state quickly gets worse, or you’re worried about someone you know — help is available. You’re not alone; talk to someone you trust. Sharing a problem is often the first step to recovery.