Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Electroshock: Electroconvulsive Therapy Without Cognitive Side Effects

Date:
May 28, 2008
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
Scientists report that a new form of electroconvulsive therapy is just as effective as older forms in treating depression but without any of the cognitive side effects found in the older forms.

Scientists report that a new form of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is just as effective as older forms in treating depression but without any of the cognitive side effects found in the older forms. In the NIMH-sponsored study, Dr. Harold Sackeim and colleagues from Columbia University randomly assigned 90 depressed patients to either right sided or bilateral ECT, using either a traditional electrical pulse or a newer "ultrabrief pulse", and measured clinical response and cognitive side effects.

The study found that 73 % of the depressed subjects who received the ultrabrief pulse responded, compared with a 65% response from subjects who received the 'gold standard' bilateral older form. Importantly, the ultrabrief group had less severe cognitive side effects than the other group. "The use of an ultrabrief stimulus markedly reduces adverse cognitive effects and, when coupled with markedly suprathreshold right unilateral ECT, also preserves efficacy," write Dr. Sackeim and colleagues.

In a related editorial Dr. Bernard Lerer, a psychiatrist from Israel not involved in the study, wrote "The paper by Sackeim and colleagues in the current issue of Brain Stimulation shows that use of an ultrabrief stimulus has remarkably few, if any, effects on cognitive function without loss of efficacy. The results provide convincing evidence derived from a randomized controlled trial. ... If supported by additional controlled studies and borne out by clinical experience in the field, these findings will be an important further step forward in the practice of ECT. They also have intriguing implications for our understanding of how the treatment works, a conundrum that has not been resolved in the 73 years since convulsive therapy was first introduced. "

Dr. Lerer went on to comment, "Overall, these are interesting times for brain stimulation therapies in general and ECT in particular. Ultrabrief stimulation is an exciting development in the optimization of ECT. It could turn out to be a pivotal step in an exciting cascade of events that may radically alter the treatment of depression and other psychiatric disorders."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sackeim et al. Effects of Pulse Width and Electrode Placement on the Efficacy and Cognitive Effects of Electroconvulsive Therapy. Brain Stimulation, 2008; 1 (2): 71 DOI: 10.1016/j.brs.2008.03.001

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Electroshock: Electroconvulsive Therapy Without Cognitive Side Effects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080527091907.htm>.
Elsevier. (2008, May 28). Electroshock: Electroconvulsive Therapy Without Cognitive Side Effects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080527091907.htm
Elsevier. "Electroshock: Electroconvulsive Therapy Without Cognitive Side Effects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080527091907.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) 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