Does ECT Make You Forget?

Does ECT affect long term memory?

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)..

How long do ECT effects 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.

What is the most common side effect of ECT?

The most common side effect of ECT is short-term memory loss. However, some people report that they have long-term memory loss, as well. ECT also causes a brief rise in heart rate and blood pressure during the procedure, so it may not be recommended in people with unstable heart problems.

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.

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).

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.

What to expect after ECT?

When you awaken, you may experience a period of disorientation lasting from a few minutes to several hours. Headaches, jaw pain, and muscle soreness may occur. ECT requires a series of treatments, often initiated two to three times a week for a few weeks and then the frequency is tapered down.

What are the long term side effects of ECT?

But some people experience more long-lasting or permanent memory loss, including losing personal memories or forgetting information they need to continue in their career or make sense of their personal relationships. Some people also find they have difficulty remembering new information from after they’ve had ECT.

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 erase your memory?

Figure 1: People with PTSD are usually troubled by their memories of the traumatic events and suffer from the extreme negative emotions associated with these memories (as shown in the top panel); However, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) has the potential to erase specific traumatic memories, and therefore help people …

How common is memory loss with ECT?

Rarely, some patients describe much more significant retrograde memory loss, but with advances in ECT, this is much less common and usually only occurs in cases of severe illness and long or repeated courses of ECT.

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.

Is ECT good for depression?

Extensive research has found ECT to be highly effective for the relief of major depression. Clinical evidence indicates that for individuals with uncomplicated, but severe major depression, ECT will produce substantial improvement in approximately 80 percent of patients.

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.

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.