Quick Answer: What Happens When ECT Doesn’T Work?

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..

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.

Can ECT cause psychosis?

As expected, her symptoms of depression and catatonia showed improvement with a course of ECT treatments. However, after the eighth treatment she developed symptoms of psychosis. Depression with psychosis is a major indication for ECT; however, there are no guidelines for psychosis that develops after ECT treatments.

How long does it take for ECT to work?

Many people begin to notice an improvement in their symptoms after about six treatments with electroconvulsive therapy. Full improvement may take longer, though ECT may not work for everyone. Response to antidepressant medications, in comparison, can take several weeks or more.

Can ECT make you worse?

ECT may have a role in people who have comorbid depression and anxiety. The concern of some psychiatrists is that while ECT may help with depressive symptoms, it could worsen anxiety symptoms, including obsessional thoughts or panic attacks.

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).

Is ECT still used 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.

Does your memory come back after ECT?

Sometimes, however, these details come back with prompting or with time. 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 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.

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.

Can ECT cause dementia?

Amid ongoing concerns that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may affect cognition, new research suggests the treatment does not increase dementia risk in patients, even older ones, with affective disorders.

What are the long term effects of ECT?

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).

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.

What are some complications of ECT?

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a safe and effective treatment for severe mood disorders. Rarely there can be serious complications, such as postictal agitation, cardiovascular compromise, prolonged seizures, and status epilepticus, all of which are important for the clinician to recognize and treat.

What is the success rate of electroconvulsive therapy?

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.

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.