Do you lose memory with ECT? (2024)

Do you lose memory with ECT?

The most persistent adverse effect is retrograde amnesia. Shortly after ECT, most patients have gaps in their memory for events that occurred close in time to the course of ECT, but the amnesia may extend back several months or years. Retrograde amnesia usually improves during the first few months after ECT.

(Video) Electroconvulsive therapy: 'I have no memory of a year of my life'
(BBC News NI)
Is memory loss permanent with ECT?

There is little evidence about the long-term effects of ECT. Some people describe experiencing long-lasting or permanent memory loss. For example, losing personal memories or forgetting information. This can be a very distressing experience.

(Video) Did ECT Cause Memory Loss For Me?
(Finding Life Again)
Can ECT be used to erase memories?

Figure 1: People with PTSD are usually troubled by their memories of the traumatic events and suffer from the extreme negative emotions associated with these memories (as shown in the top panel); However, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) has the potential to erase specific traumatic memories, and therefore help people ...

(Video) Dr. Syl Explains How Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Works
(Dr Syl)
What are the bad results of ECT?

The most common side effects of ECT on the day of treatment include nausea, headache, fatigue, confusion, and slight memory loss, which may last minutes to hours. These risks must be balanced with the consequences of ineffectively treated severe psychiatric disorders.

(Video) ECT: Disrupting the Stigma Around An Essential Treatment Option
(Michigan Medicine)
Can ECT cause mild cognitive impairment?

Cognitive impairment related to ECT predominantly affects recent memory, executive function, and attention. Cognitive alterations are most severe in the acute phase, significantly a few hours to a few days after ECT, and usually improve partially after the end of treatment (5, 6).

(Video) ECT Destroys Lives - (Electroconvulsive Therapy)
(Life After ECT)
How long do memory problems last after ECT?

For example, 7–8 days after a course of brief-pulse bilateral ECT, memory function relative to pretreatment assessment has been described as impaired, recovered, or improved,[13,14,15,16,17,18] Regarding long-term side effects, descriptive reviews agree that after 6 months, no deficits persist and no significant ...

(Video) The Ghosts of ECT (life after electroconvulsive therapy)
(Life After ECT)
Can ECT permanently harm the brain?

ECT is not the devastating purveyor of wholesale brain damage that some of its detractors claim. For the typical individual receiving ECT, no detectable correlates of irreversible brain damage appear to occur.

(Vin Vlogger)
Can you relapse after ECT?

In studies in recent decades, high relapse rates have also been found after electroconvulsive therapy. Sackeim and his colleagues found rates of 84 % with a placebo, 60 % with nortriptyline alone and 39 % with nortriptyline plus lithium within six months (3).

(Video) Memory loss after brain injury
(Headway - the brain injury association)
Can ECT prevent dementia?

In patients aged 70 years and older, ECT was associated with a decreased rate of dementia. Furthermore, the risk of developing dementia was lower for patients aged 70 and older who had more than ten sessions of ECT.

(Video) Demystifying Electroconvulsive Therapy
(Royal Talks)
How do you know if ECT is working?

Results. Many people begin to notice an improvement in their symptoms after about six treatments with electroconvulsive therapy. Full improvement may take longer, though ECT may not work for everyone. Response to antidepressant medications, in comparison, can take several weeks or more.

(Video) My ECT Experience (Electroconvulsive Therapy) | Psychology Is Podcast Clips
(Psychology Is)

What percentage of people lose memory with ECT?

Recent studies of patients' perceptions of memory impairment after ECT are notable. Rose and colleagues25 summarized the results of 7 studies reporting on perceived memory loss and found that between 29% and 55% of respondents believed they experienced long-lasting or permanent memory changes.

(Video) ECT proven to be effective treatment for severe depression
(UCLA Health)
Can ECT make people worse?

Some people who have had ECT may have found they experience adverse side effects that are worse than the symptoms of the problem they're trying to treat, including short term or longer term memory loss. We recognize that ECT advocates have their patients' best interest at heart.

Do you lose memory with ECT? (2024)
Why ECT should be banned?

Professor John Read at the University of East London, who has published several reviews of the ECT research literature, and Sue Cunliffe, a patient who has had ECT, say it has no long term benefits compared with placebo and can cause brain damage.

Can ECT cause dementia?

The results of a study in the April issue of Lancet Psychiatry suggest ECT does not increase long-term dementia risk, even in older patients with depression—a patient population known to be at a high risk of dementia.

Does ECT change the way you think?

Some people experience longer term memory loss, and difficulty making new memories. But some people do say after ECT they experience brain damage, a change in their personality, a loss of creativity, a lack of energy or drive, or lack of emotions.

Which type of ECT has fewer cognitive side effects?

Indirect evidence for this hypothesis is provided by consistent data suggesting that ECT using right unilateral (RUL) electrode placement [15,16,17], which induces an electrical field that minimizes the involvement of the hippocampus in the dominant hemisphere [18], is associated with decreased cognitive effects as ...

Why does the administration of electroconvulsive therapy often cause memory loss?

The conventionally accepted mechanism for memory deficits after ECT is excito-toxic damage in the pyramidal cell layer of neurons in the hippocampus that induces calcium influx, which damages cells and causes neuronal atrophy.

When should I stop ECT treatment?

The ECT taper from an acute series to a maintenance schedule is generally once a week for 4 treatments, then every 2 weeks for 4 treatments, then every 3 weeks for 4 treatments, then every 4 weeks. There is no limit on how long a patient can receive maintenance ECT provided the treatment is effective.

Can ECT worsen dementia?

ECT does not worsen functional outcomes in those with depression, dementia.

What is the lawsuit against ECT?

Case Background

Mr. Thelen filed a lawsuit in 2020 against Somatics, a Florida-based manufacturer of ECT devices, alleging Strict Liability (Failure to Warn) and Negligence. Somatics denied it was negligent and further denied that the ECT machine was defective as labeled.

What is the controversy with ECT?

The main source of continuing controversy concerns a possible adverse effect: memory loss. There is no question that ECT causes some memory loss, particularly of events near the time of the treatment. These memories often return, however.

Does ECT reduce life expectancy?

Compared with the control group, patients who received ECT had lower rates of death from all causes for up to one year after they were discharged from the hospital.

What percentage of people relapse after ECT?

After successful ECT, high relapse rates are observed. A meta-analysis showed that, despite continuation pharmacotherapy, 51% of patients relapsed within 12 months following successful ECT, with the majority relapsing within the first 6 months.

What is the average number of ECT treatments?

People undergoing ECT need multiple treatments. The number needed to successfully treat severe depression can range from 4 to 20, but most people need a total of 6 to 12 treatments.

What percentage of depression patients improve after ECT treatment?

In severe major depression, ECT has the highest rates of response and remission of any form of antidepressant treatment, with 70–90% of those treated showing response 1.


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