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What I would say to a patient who asked me about this article: Invited commentary on: Memory and cognitive effects of ECT

  • Allan Scott
Abstract

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) remains an important treatment option for severe depressive illness, but it can have side-effects, including permanent gaps in memory. Where minimising the intellectual side-effects of treatment has priority, then treatment to only one side of the head (unilateral ECT) is preferable; where the speed of clinical improvement is paramount, then bilateral ECT may be preferred. The choice of how ECT is administered should, where possible, be part of the process of informed consent.

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References
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Calev, A., Gaudino, E. A., Squires, N. K. et al (1995) ECT and non-memory cognition: a review. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 34, 505515.
Carney, S. & Geddes, J. (2003) Electroconvulsive therapy. BMJ, 326, 13431344.
Robertson, H. & Pryor, R. (2006) Memory and cognitive effects of ECT: informing and assessing patients. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 12, 228237.
Royal College of Psychiatrists (2005) The ECT Handbook (2nd edn) (Council Report CR128). London: Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Rose, D., Fleischmann, P., Wykes, T. et al (2003) Patients' perspectives on electroconvulsive therapy: systematic review. BMJ, 326, 13631367.
Squire, L. R. & Slater, P. C. (1983) Electroconvulsive therapy and complaints of memory dysfunction: a prospective three-year follow-up study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 142, 18.
UK ECT Review Group (2003) Efficacy and safety of electroconvulsive therapy in depressive disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet, 361, 799808.
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BJPsych Advances
  • ISSN: 1355-5146
  • EISSN: 1472-1481
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-advances
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What I would say to a patient who asked me about this article: Invited commentary on: Memory and cognitive effects of ECT

  • Allan Scott
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