Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Electroconvulsive therapy improves mood, quality of life

02.11.2004


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.

Karen Richardson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wfubmc.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

nachricht Study advances gene therapy for glaucoma
17.01.2018 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

More genes are active in high-performance maize

19.01.2018 | Life Sciences

How plants see light

19.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>