Current electroconvulsive therapy practice and research in the. We aimed to examine whether longterm effects of ect on discrete memory systems could be detected in patients with bd. Side effects of ect electroconvulsive therapy ect explains what electroconvulsive therapy ect is, when it might be used and what happens during the treatment. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Risks and side effects of ect like most medical treatments, ect has side effects problems that the treatment can cause and risks. This may include having blood tests, a chest x ray and an electrocardiogram ecg.
Apr 04, 2020 as with medication, ect does have some side effects. Ect been shown to help 78 percent of people with clinical depression. Efficacy of electroconvulsive therapy ect and duration of associated side effects is uncertain. Brief disorientation and confusion immediately after. Electroconvulsive therapy ect is effective for both the manic and depressed phases of bipolar disorder bd and is included as an option for refractory bd in the algorithms of several published guidelines. In unilateral ect, one electrode is placed at the top vertex of the head and the other typically on the right side.
Adverse effects of electroconvulsive therapy journal of the. It covers what ect is and why it may have been recommended, what happens if you have ect and possible side effects of ect. Jun 26, 2017 effects of electroconvulsive therapy on the pulse rate, blood pressure and electrocardiogram were studied in forty consecutive physically healthy inpatients undergoing ect for their psychiatric disabilities. Side effects of ect mind, the mental health charity help. The common side effects of electroconvulsive therapy include. Practices such as prolonged daily administrations of ect or multiple seizure inductions per treatment session are not supported by scientific evidence, and are not recommended. A psychiatrist might suggest electroconvulsive therapy ect or other forms of brain stimulation. Before youre given ect, your doctor will make sure ect is safe for you. Electroconvulsive therapy american psychiatric association. Cognitive and memory side effects may require regular assessment by a.
Side effects of electroconvulsive therapy datto 2000. See our page on the side effects of ect for more information. The preect evaluation of medical conditions should include lab tests and specialist consultation when indicated to minimize potential adverse side effects. Electroconvulsive therapy ect is a medical procedure used to treat some psychiatric illnesses by causing a short, painless, brain seizure under general anesthesia. Learn about electroconvulsive therapy ect for depression as an alternative treatment option for patients who are unresponsive to antidepressant medications. Concurrent use of lamotrigine with ect in bipolar depression seems safe, did not interfere with routine ect practice, and allowed for transition to maintenance pharmacotherapy. Among the most vexing predicaments for many clinicians is providing dispassionate guidance regarding electroconvulsive therapy ect to a patient and family members of a. Common side effects may include temporary difficulties with shortterm memory. Jun 19, 2017 however, not everyone responds well to drug therapy, and with improved treatment procedures and better management of side effects, ect can now be an effective treatment with a high safety record.
Helpful literature with recommendations on minimizing the risks of these side effects and improving the tolerability of the electroconvulsive treatments will also be presented. Electroconvulsive treatment ect is a medical procedure that is used to treat a range of mental illnesses, such as severe depression, catatonia and some forms of mania and schizophrenia. Electroconvulsive therapy ect, formerly known as electroshock therapy, is a psychiatric treatment in which seizures are electrically induced in patients to provide relief from mental disorders typically, 70 to 120 volts are applied externally to the patients head resulting in approximately 800 milliamperes of direct current passed through the brain, for 100. The cognitive side effects of bifrontal bf and right unilateral ul ultrabrief pulse 0. The following article presents an overview of what is currently known about the pattern and recovery of cognitive side effects of ect. Before commencing a course of ect, patients will undergo a thorough psychiatric. As it is now practiced, ect is a much safer procedure than it was in earlier decades. The primary ect side effects are cognitive in nature, including possible memory loss. Electroconvulsive ect therapy information leaflet greater. Before ect, we give you anesthesia to enhance safety and tolerability. Pdf electroconvulsive therapy and its use in modernday psychiatry.
Some people may experience a headache or nausea and these side effects can be treated with medication if necessary. Ect electroconvulsive therapy intermountain healthcare. Risks and side effects for more information, contact medical director erich conrad, md, at 504 4121580. Ect is an effective treatment for severe depression. When medication fails to ease the symptoms of clinical depression, there are other options to try. Ect is among the safest treatments for severe mood disorders, with most risks being related to the anesthesia.
Although not fully understood, ect likely causes anticonvulsant effects, brain remodeling, and improves brain perfusion. Electroconvulsive therapy ect elicits a response in up to 70% of eligible patients, on average, and is currently the most effective treatment for severe depression 1, 2. Current status of ectstudy shows cognitive side effects pose. The typical course of ect treatment is three times a week for a total of 612 treatments. However, it is not without adverse effects and therefore a sound knowledge of this treatment modality is crucial before its administration. Ect, tms and other brain stimulation therapies nami. Risks of electroconvulsive therapy ect risks of electroconvulsive therapy ect by john hauser, m. Ect is used mainly to treat severe depression, but is also indicated for patients with other conditions, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, catatonia, and neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Common side effects include headaches, muscle soreness and nausea. Potential side effects of ect the most common physical side effects are nausea, headache and muscle stiffness. This pilot study examined the hypothesis that magnetic resonance imaging t2 relaxation times of specific brain regions increase after electroconvulsive therapy ect and that these increases are related to the cognitive side effects of ect. Any meds that affect the clients seizure threshold must be decreased or discontinued several days before the ect procedure. Six depressed patients undergoing unilateral ect were studied.
The administration of electroconvulsive therapy queensland health. Electroconvulsive therapy ect is usually well tolerated. A better term for ect is seizure therapy, because the effect of. Frequently, confusion leads to the loss of ability to recognize people and or places, or tell time and the date. While we report negative findings, these results continue to promote the much needed discussion on developing effective strategies to minimize the adverse memory side effects of ect, in hopes it. Many of the procedures risks and side effects are related to the misuse of equipment, incorrect administration, or improperly trained staff.
Ect is often undertaken on remote sites in elderly patients with significant comorbidity. Electroconvulsive therapy ect is a safe and effective treatment for severe medicationresistant depression. Electroconvulsive therapy ect explains what electroconvulsive therapy ect is, when it might be used and what happens during the treatment. It is now possible to specifically tailor ect for each individual, and measure the effectiveness of the treatment. The risks of general anesthesia, which is needed for ect, are similar to the risks when anesthesia is used for other procedures such as minor surgeries. Studies show that ect is helpful for 7 to 9 out of every.
In 92 depressed patients who were randomized to unilateral or bilateral electroconvulsive therapy ect at either low dosage just above seizure threshold or high dosage 2. The side effects of ect memory loss knowing the side effects of a treatment can help you decide which treatment choice is best for you. The cognitive adverse effects of electroconvulsive therapy ect limit its use. 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. There are some side effects that i need to mention. Jun 29, 2017 a recent study published in evidence based mental health warns against the dangers of long term treatment with electroconvulsive therapy or ect and warns that cognitive impairments associated with ect may cause significant cognitive side effects in patients treated longterm. Ect often works when other treatments are unsuccessful and when the full course of treatment is completed, but it may not work for everyone. Irregular heartbeat this side effect usually goes away quickly. Furthermore, although considerable recovery has been observed within weeks of treatment completion, data are lacking in the longer term. This effect of ect is more robust than in antidepressant treatment and is thought to be responsible for the increase in volume in parts of the brain. Side effects of ect mind, the mental health charity help for mental. Research and development into ect has improved the technology of ect treatments. This leaflet will try to answer some of the questions you may have about electroconvulsive therapy ect.
Brain stimulation techniques such as electroconvulsive therapy ect, for example, can be used to. Ect remains a controversial treatment and some of the conflicting. The most prominent is an impairment in memory functioning, or memory loss. Anaesthesia for electroconvulsive therapy bja education. Thinking and memory side effects are not uncommon memory difficulty for the period surrounding the treatment or course of ect is to be expected. Proponents of electroconvulsive therapy ect claim that it is safe and effective and that the side effects are shortlived. The effects of electroconvulsive therapy on memory of. The pubmed database was searched for literature published within the past 4 years, using the search terms. A recent study published in evidence based mental health warns against the dangers of long term treatment with electroconvulsive therapy or ect and warns that cognitive impairments associated with ect may cause significant cognitive side effects.
In fact, while ect may be associated with significant side effects, the most common side effects of ect are headaches and muscle pain that normally go away shortly after each treatment. Information for people considering or undergoing ect and their families is available in the ranzcp your health in mind ect community guide. Electroconvulsive therapy what are the side effects of ect. Depending on the location of the electrodes, ect is defined as bilateral or uni lateral. Unilaterally on the same side as the dominant hand. Much of the stigma attached to ect is based on early treatments in which high doses of electricity were administered without anesthesia, leading to memory loss, fractured bones and other serious side effects. Subjective side effects during electroconvulsive therapy. Because depression itself and some medications used to treat depression can also produce.
Some patients may be confused just after they wake up from treatment however this generally clears within an hour or so. Short and long term cognitive outcomes in patients with. Electroconvulsive therapy ect department of psychiatry. Shortterm memory loss is a common side effect, although this usually goes away within. Electroconvulsive therapy knowledge for medical students. Download our consent for electroconvulsive therapy ect form pdf. Side effects of electroconvulsive therapy which are of main concern are the brain related side effects. Electroconvulsive therapy ect involves unilateral sometimes bilateral electrode placement over the nondominant hemisphere to induce tonicclonic seizures under sedation. If ect improves your mental health, the effects are usually felt quickly. When treatments such as medication and therapy arent able to relieve the symptoms of depression or another mental health condition, there are other options available. Chapter 10 ati electroconvulsive therapy flashcards. Although safe and effective, ect could present health risks that you need to discuss with patients. Even after your doctor says ect is safe, there are some possible risks and side effects. Side effects electroconvulsive therapy is a safe, controlled procedure for depression and other psychological disorders that have not responded to other treatments.
The treatment combination was well tolerated, with no serious adverse events, no rashes, and no worsening of cognitive side effects. Confusion is a change in mental status in which a person is not able to think with his or her usual level of clarity. If you require this information in word document format for compatibility with screen. Find out what to expect during treatment and read about side effects and risks. Electroconvulsive therapy ect uses a small electric current to produce a generalized cerebral seizure under general anesthesia. What are the major side effects immediately post ect headache and body aches are fairly common and usually relieved with acetaminophen or. Cognitive effects of electroconvulsive therapy cognitive effects of electroconvulsive therapy wayne m. It discussed how it works, why it is used, its effects and sideeffects, and alternative treatments.
All rcts were judged to be at high risk of bias because of the possibility of unblinding of therapy. Electroconvulsive therapy ect better health channel. If you require this information in word document format for compatibility with screen readers, please email. A brief period of confusion following ect is relatively common. A brief measure for assessing patient perceptions of cognitive side effects after electroconvulsive therapy. A variety of adverse physiological and physical effects occurcardiovascular and central nervous system responses are potentially most dangerous.
Jul 30, 2019 ect been shown to help 78 percent of people with clinical depression. Read about the history of ect and costs and side effects of the procedure. Then, we apply a brief up to 8 seconds electrical current through electrodes placed on your head. May 18, 2019 this effect of ect is more robust than in antidepressant treatment and is thought to be responsible for the increase in volume in parts of the brain. Explains what electroconvulsive therapy ect is, when it might be used and what happens during the treatment. What are the major side effects immediately post ect headache and body aches are fairly common and.
Side effects of ect mind, the mental health charity. Whether memory deficits can be exacerbated in patients with bd who receive ect has, to our knowledge, not been systematically examined. Electroconvulsive therapy ect johns hopkins medicine. The effectiveness and risks of cranial electrical stimulation. John grohol is the founder and editorinchief of psych central.
Helpful when potential side effects of the procedure are less harmful than adverse effects from medications. Ect is especially helpful for severe or treatmentresistant illness. The most persistent adverse effect is retrograde amnesia. It is also used to treat other forms of mental illness. Muscle soreness or aching can also occur after ect as a result of the medications given to relax muscles during ect. Headache you can have mild to moderate headache after the session and it can last from few minutes to hours. Electroconvulsive treatment ect has been used in mental health treatments since the 1940s. Ect does not appear to have greater efficacy than sham ect in patients with chronic schizophrenia. Unlike antidepressant medications, the ect procedure involves a direct effect on the central nervous system, is fasteracting, and avoids the systemic side effects of psychotropic drugs. Controversy over some aspects of the treatment in 1950s and 60s led to guidelines and legislation on its use. Data do not exist at this time to confirm the mechanisms by which ect exerts its adverse effects, but clinicians should fully inform patients of the possible permanent adverse effects of the treatment, which include amnesia, memory disability and cognitive disability, and should provide followup testing using relevant instruments.
Ect wipes out 30 years of memories mdedge psychiatry. Electroconvulsive therapy canadian psychiatric association. It is usually recommended when people have symptoms that have not responded to medications or psychosocial treatments. Electroconvulsive therapy ect electroconvulsive therapy ect is the most effective treatment for depression.
Electroconvulsive therapy adverse effects complications cognition. For further details for the administration of ect in clinical practice, refer to the electroconvulsive therapy ect professional practice guideline. I try to keep in mind that my memory was pretty bad just with the depression but i have noticed sometimes i am trying to find an answer to something that i am sure i would know and i just cant get to the answer. The differences between bilateral and unilateral ect are discussed further on page 29.
Persons undergoing ect frequently do not remember the procedures, or. Adverse effects of electroconvulsive therapy psychiatric clinics of. Ect is very different today, although it does still pose a risk of side effects, such as. Most patients experience some degree of temporary cognitive impairment during a course of ect. We wanted to study indications, efficacy, time to response and side effects. Before commencing a course of ect, patients will undergo a thorough psychiatric evaluation and general health screening process. Current status of ectstudy shows cognitive side effects. In particular, cognitive problems such as delirium and impaired attention and memory may result. Pdf electroconvulsive therapy, the placebo effect and. Modern ect treatment involves stimulating the brain, using a carefully controlled current to induce a seizure while the patient is unconscious, under a short acting general anaesthetic and muscle relaxant. In bilateral ect, one electrode is placed on the left side of the head, the other on the right side. Ect could be helpful if you have stopped eating and drinking or looking after yourself due to severe depression. Given the short period of time that the patient is under anesthesia for ect, seriouslifethreatening risks are very rare. Cognitive side effects of brief pulse electroconvulsive ther.276 1256 170 1456 811 954 89 881 1058 925 1342 671 397 350 1065 289 1241 1401 343 1116 585 9 1341 674 1361 748 959 322 983 1259 578 1115 258 491 658