Quick Answer: Why Is ECT A Last Resort?

What are long term effects of ECT?

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has been controversially associated with long-lasting memory problems.

Verbal learning and memory deficits are commonly reported in studies of people with bipolar disorder (BD)..

Why is ECT a controversial treatment?

Reasons for Controversy Three reasons are given for the aversion: 1) ECT is considered old-fashioned and politically incorrect; 2) it is forced on the patient; and 3) the memory disturbances are so severe and persistent that no rational human being would undergo this procedure, no matter how well-intended.

What disorder is ECT used for?

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.

What are the negative side effects of ECT?

Although ECT is generally safe, risks and side effects may include:Confusion. Immediately after treatment, you may experience confusion, which can last from a few minutes to several hours. … Memory loss. … Physical side effects. … Medical complications.

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.

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 your memory come back after ECT?

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.

What is the success rate for 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. Most patients remain well for many months afterwards.

Is ECT a last resort?

Electroconvulsive therapy is generally considered the treatment of last resort for people who are experiencing severe, debilitating and chronic depression (also known as treatment-resistant depression) that doesn’t appear to be helped by medications and psychotherapy.

Can ECT damage your brain?

Does ECT Cause Brain Damage? There is no evidence that, in the era of “modern” ECT, it causes “brain damage,” (i.e. structural changes to the brain).

Does ECT wear off?

Although ECT is effective, its benefits are short-lived. For this reason, patients take antidepressant medication after ECT or may continue receiving ECT periodically to prevent relapse.

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).

Does ECT kill brain cells?

When ECT is properly administered, brain damage does not occur. In fact, research has shown that ECT increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which stimulates brain cell growth.

How long do the benefits of ECT 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 make you worse?

Any helpful effects are likely to be short-term. ECT can’t prevent future depression, or fix any ongoing stresses or problems that are contributing to how you’re feeling. Some people have very bad experiences of ECT, for example because they feel worse after treatment or are given it without consent.