Electroconvulsive shock therapy

What is a major side effect of electroconvulsive shock therapy ECT )?

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. These risks must be balanced with the consequences of ineffectively treated severe psychiatric disorders.

Is electroshock therapy safe?

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. You may not know where you are or why you’re there.

What does ECT do to your brain?

It may promote changes in how brain cells communicate with each other at synapses and it may stimulate the development of new brain cells. ECT may flood the brain with neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which are known to be involved in conditions like depression and schizophrenia.

What is the success rate of 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.

Does ECT change your personality?

ECT does not change a person’s personality , nor is it designed to treat those with just primary “ personality disorders.” ECT can cause transient short-term memory — or new learning — impairment during a course of ECT , which fully reverses usually within one to four weeks after an acute course is stopped.

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.

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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.

Why is electroshock therapy bad?

And ECT performed anywhere has some downsides. Patients typically emerge from a session temporarily disoriented. More seriously, most patients experience retrograde amnesia afterward: they no longer remember many events that occurred a few weeks to months before the treatment .

Does ECT help anxiety?

ECT is not used to treat anxiety and therefore does not have a role in people who have solely an anxiety disorder. ECT may have a role in people who have comorbid depression and anxiety .

Does ECT reset the brain?

ECT has been referred to as a “ reset button for the brain ,” which not only directly improves depressive symptoms, but also allows current medications to work more effectively.

What are the side effects of electric shock therapy?

Side-effects loss of memory about the events immediately before and after ECT. heart rhythm disturbances. low blood pressure. headaches. nausea. sore muscles, aching jaw. confusion .

What happens when 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.

Does ECT wear off?

Once the procedure is complete, the effects of the short-acting anesthetic and muscle relaxant will quickly begin to wear off . You will be taken to a recovery area where you will be monitored for any complications.

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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 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 .

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