Quick Answer: Is ECT Worth The Risk?

Why is ECT bad?

ECT is different from TMS therapy The nature of the procedure itself, which triggers a brief seizure through electrical current, can lead to side effects such as cardiovascular complications, blood pressure concerns, and even memory loss..

How many ECT treatments is too many?

HOW MANY TIMES WILL I NEED TO BE TREATED? People undergoing ECT need multiple treatments. The number needed to successfully treat severe depression can range from 4 to 20, but most people need a total of 6 to 12 treatments. The treatments are usually given three times a week — Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Does ECT work for anxiety?

Electroconvulsive therapy is effective in the acute treatment of major depressive disorder patients associated with anxiety symptoms. Anxiety symptoms improved less than depression symptoms during acute electroconvulsive therapy.

How long does ECT last?

How Long Does the ECT Procedure Take? An ECT session takes about one hour total. There is time for patient assessments before treatment, receiving treatment (20 minutes), resting in the recovery area (20 minutes), and getting transferred back to a unit (inpatient) or to the driver’s vehicle (outpatient).

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 electroconvulsive therapy cause memory loss?

Memory loss is the primary side effect associated with ECT treatment. Most people experience what’s called retrograde amnesia, which is a loss of memory of events leading up to and including the treatment itself. Some people’s memory loss is longer and greater with ECT.

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. 5) and have documented the claims by extensive neuropsychological evaluation.

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.

Can ECT cause suicidal thoughts?

After 3 ECT sessions, 38% of patients had complete resolution of their suicidal ideations. As the number of ECT sessions increased, so did the resolution of suicidal ideations. The investigators recommended that ECT be considered earlier in the course of treatment for patients at risk for suicide.

Does ECT wear off?

After the Procedure. 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.

Is ECT good for depression?

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can provide rapid, significant improvements in severe symptoms of several mental health conditions. ECT is used to treat: Severe depression, particularly when accompanied by detachment from reality (psychosis), a desire to commit suicide or refusal to eat.

What are long term 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 are the risks of 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.

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.

Who is a good candidate for ECT?

Ideal candidates for ECT tend to be severely depressed individuals who have failed multiple drug therapies, McCall said. Less commonly, patients present with severe disease, for example, the first time they are seen is in the emergency room after a suicide attempt.

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.