Can ECT Damage Your Brain?

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 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.

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.

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.

Can ECT cause permanent memory loss?

The most persistent adverse effect is retrograde amnesia. 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.

Can ECT lead to dementia?

The present study shows that notwithstanding other possible adverse long-term cognitive effects, ECT is not associated with an increased risk of dementia. This finding supports the continued use of ECT in patients with severe episodes of mood disorders, including those who are elderly.

Can 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.

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.

When should ECT not be used?

a past history of moderate or severe depression or. initial presentation of subthreshold depressive symptoms that have been present for a long period (typically at least 2 years) or. subthreshold depressive symptoms or mild depression that persist(s) after other interventions.

What are the 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 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.

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.

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.