Does ECT Kill Brain Cells?

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 long term side effects of ECT?

Side effects of ECT can include slight memory loss, adverse reactions to anesthesia, hyper- and hypotension, and ongoing heart issues throughout life. Though these side effects are rare and can often be prevented through proper pre-diagnosis, they do add to the controversy of ECT therapy.

How does ECT affect the 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.

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 your memory come back after ECT?

The effects usually subside over time, and older memories are more likely to be recovered than more recent ones. ECT can cause permanent memory loss, particularly after bilateral electrode placement, suprathreshold stimulus intensity, sine wave stimulation, or large numbers of treatments—usually more than 20.

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 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 cause permanent damage?

Some studies also suggest that ECT causes long lasting or permanent memory damage, they add, although ECT advocates claim this memory loss is caused by depression not ECT itself.

Can you die from ECT?

It is not safe. Death associated with ECT is extremely rare. A recent analysis estimated that the rate of ECT-related mortality is 2.1 deaths per 100,000 treatments. In comparison, the mortality rate of general anesthesia used during surgery has been reported as 3.4 deaths per 100,000 procedures.

Is ECT a last resort?

Because of the concern about permanent memory loss and confusion related to ECT treatment, some researchers recommend that the treatment only be used as a last resort.

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.

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.

Is ECT worth the risk?

ECT is not a first-line treatment. Most practitioners do not consider referral for ECT until many months or years of medication and other therapy without results. However, it can be a safe and effective, low-risk option for individuals experiencing a variety of mental-health and brain-related disorders.

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.

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.