Current neuroscience suggests that although short-term memory difficulties frequently occur immediately after electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), longer-term problems are less common. However, gaps in our knowledge remain regarding longer-term cognitive problems after ECT, including memory function. Some of these relate to the complexities surrounding cognitive testing and interpretation of test results. An important question in clinical decision-making is why, despite current evidence suggesting long-term memory problems are less frequent, some patients still report subjective memory difficulties. To further advance clinical practice and the neuroscience surrounding post-ECT cognitive function, assessment of cognitive function, possibly including neuropsychological testing, should potentially become more routine as part of clinical practice.
Declaration of interest