Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Electroconvulsive Therapy Improves Mood, Quality Of Life

Date:
November 4, 2004
Source:
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Summary:
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) improves mood, quality of life and activities of daily living in patients with major depression, according to researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) improves mood, quality of life and activities of daily living in patients with major depression, according to researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Quality of life and function are improved in ECT patients as early as two weeks after the conclusion of ECT," said Vaughn McCall, M.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine and the lead author, writing in the November issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.

ECT is a treatment for severe mental illness, especially major depression, in which a brief application of electric stimulus – a shock – is used to produce a generalized seizure.

"ECT produces a net improvement in health for most patients, and should help fill the knowledge gap that recently led to more restrictive guidance on the use of ECT in the United Kingdom," said McCall. "A restrictive attitude toward ECT is not warranted."

Britain's National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) last year recommended sharp restrictions on the use of electroconvulsive therapy "until more information is available about ECT's effect on memory, quality of life and other pertinent health outcomes."

NICE, an arm of Britain's National Health Service, said ECT should be used "only to achieve rapid and short-term improvements of severe symptoms after other treatment options have failed and/or when the condition is considered to be potentially life threatening in individuals with severe depressive illness, catatonia or a prolonged or severe manic episode."

The study at Wake Forest Baptist included 77 patients with major depression, and the effects of depression were confirmed by use of several psychiatric measuring scales, some answered by the patients and some by clinicians. These tests were completed before and immediately after ECT and again at two weeks and four weeks after ECT.

McCall said that 66 percent of the patients showed improvement after ECT.

"The sample showed improvement in most measures of mood, cognition, quality of life and function" at both two weeks and four weeks after ECT, he said. The only decline was on an autobiographical memory test, but that test is designed to measure only memory loss, not improvement.

When he compared test results on nine of 10 psychological scales before ECT with the same tests repeated at both two and four weeks after ECT, the differences were statistically significant, meaning that they could not have happened by chance.

McCall said the new study confirmed earlier results at Wake Forest Baptist that function and quality of life improve after ECT "to a greater extent than medication-treated patients," but, he said, the prior study's first measurement was not made until four weeks after ECT.

McCall said the change in quality of life was largely related to changes in mood.

But there also was improvement on various measurements of cognition and especially of memory. "Although the improvement on neurological tests could be attributed to a practice effect [taking the same test several times], it is equally likely that they represent true improvements in cognitive efficiency," he said.

Also involved in the study were Peter B. Rosenquist, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry, and Aaron Dunn, B.A., an associate project manager in the Psychiatry Department,


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Electroconvulsive Therapy Improves Mood, Quality Of Life." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 November 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041104011942.htm>.
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. (2004, November 4). Electroconvulsive Therapy Improves Mood, Quality Of Life. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041104011942.htm
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Electroconvulsive Therapy Improves Mood, Quality Of Life." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041104011942.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins