Question: What Are The Long Term Side Effects Of ECT?

Can ECT make you worse?

ECT may have a role in people who have comorbid depression and anxiety.

The concern of some psychiatrists is that while ECT may help with depressive symptoms, it could worsen anxiety symptoms, including obsessional thoughts or panic attacks..

Why is ECT bad?

Medical complications. As with any type of medical procedure, especially one that involves anesthesia, there are risks of medical complications. During ECT, heart rate and blood pressure increase, and in rare cases, that can lead to serious heart problems. If you have heart problems, ECT may be more risky.

How common is memory loss with ECT?

One third of the surveyed patients who had ECT, better known as “shock therapy,” reported persistent memory loss as a result. Many patients had very conflicted feelings about ECT, lead researcher Diana Rose, PhD, tells WebMD.

Can ECT cause permanent memory loss?

ECT can cause permanent memory loss, particularly after bilateral electrode placement, suprathreshold stimulus intensity, sine wave stimulation, or large numbers of treatments—usually more than 20.

Can ECT change your personality?

ECT does not change a person’s personality, nor is it designed to treat those with just primary “personality disorders.” ECT can cause transient short-term memory — or new learning — impairment during a course of ECT, which fully reverses usually within one to four weeks after an acute course is stopped.

Who is a good candidate for ECT?

People who have had ECT before and responded well are good candidates for ECT. Other first-line indications for the procedure include people who are catatonic or suffering from a form of depression known as psychotic depression (depression associated with delusions and hallucinations).

What mental illness does ECT treat?

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a medical treatment most commonly used in patients with severe major depression or bipolar disorder that has not responded to other treatments. ECT involves a brief electrical stimulation of the brain while the patient is under anesthesia.

How long does ECT results last?

We know that depressed patients often begin to respond after the first treatment and progress to wellness with 6 to 12 treatments. There is considerable variability in the trajectories, but most commonly there is progressive symptomatic improvement within the first week and complete remission within 3 to 4 weeks.

Can ECT cause dementia?

Although ECT can cause transient memory problems, the new findings show that the treatment “does not cause dementia,” author Martin Balslev Jørgensen, DMSc, professor of clinical psychiatry, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, told Medscape Medical News.

Does ECT lower IQ?

However, former patients have publicly testified that ECT can result in a very significant (>30 point) permanent decrement in IQ score (Food and Drug Administration, 1982; Andre, 2001; Cott, 2005: p. 5) and have documented the claims by extensive neuropsychological evaluation.

Can ECT damage your brain?

Despite many scientific and governmental authorities having concluded that ECT does not cause brain damage, there is significant evidence that ECT has indeed caused brain damage in some patients, both historically and recently, and evidence that it always causes some form or degree of brain damage.

What are the negative side effects of ECT?

What are the risks and side-effects of ECT?loss of memory about the events immediately before and after ECT.heart rhythm disturbances.low blood pressure.headaches.nausea.sore muscles, aching jaw.confusion.

When do you stop ECT treatment?

You won’t need to have any more ECT sessions if you have responded well to treatment. If you have any serious side effects doctors should stop the treatment.

How does ECT feel?

“It was like a mute button muffling the noise of my shrieking feelings.” So what is it actually like? You go in, have your blood pressure taken, sign a form, lie down, go to sleep, wake up with a slight headache and go home. And often, you feel instantly better.

Does ECT work for anxiety?

Electroconvulsive therapy is effective in the acute treatment of major depressive disorder patients associated with anxiety symptoms. Anxiety symptoms improved less than depression symptoms during acute electroconvulsive therapy.

How many ECT treatments is too many?

Typically, ECT (whether inpatient or outpatient) is given two to three times a week for a total of six to twelve sessions. Some patients may need more or fewer treatments. These sessions improve depression in 70 to 90 percent of patients, a response rate much higher than that of antidepressant drugs.

What is the success rate of ECT?

What is the Success Rate of Electroconvulsive Therapy? ECT is an effective medical treatment option, helping as many as 80-85 percent of patients who receive it.

What happens if ECT doesn’t work?

If electroconvulsive therapy doesn’t work, the next step could be deep brain stimulation (DBS) — a depression treatment that is currently considered experimental.

Can ECT cause suicidal thoughts?

There appears to be some evidence demonstrating the reduction of acute risk of suicidality with ECT. Indications considered for the use of ECT in suicidal patients may include the seriousness of the intent, short-term risk of suicide, or the need for more-emergent treatment as mentioned in the treatment guidelines.

Why is ECT used as a last resort?

“The seizure is induced in a very controlled fashion, using a fairly precise delivery of an electric current.” Dr Davey says ECT is seen as a treatment option of last resort, to be used when nothing else has worked, or when there isn’t time to find the right medication for a patient, a process that can take months.