Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Electroconvulsive therapy improves quality of life for at least six months

14.02.2006


Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) – shock treatment –improves quality of life in patients with major depression, and that improved quality of life continues for six months, according to a report in the February Journal of Affective Disorders.



The study was conducted in seven hospitals in New York City – two private psychiatric hospitals, three community hospitals and two academic medical centers, said W. Vaughn McCall, M.D., M.S., the lead author and professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

"This study adds to the accumulating evidence that ECT is associated with a net health benefit in depressed patients who attain and sustain remission," wrote McCall and colleagues. ECT has long been known to be an effective treatment for major depression.


The results from 283 severely depressed patients at the seven New York City hospitals confirm results from an earlier study McCall did of 77 ECT patients at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, a study that was published in the November 2004 issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.

In that study, he said, "Quality of life and function are improved in ECT patients as early as two weeks after the conclusion of ECT." In the new study, the psychiatrists said, "ECT is associated with improved health-related quality of life in the short term and the long term." Most of the improvements were largely explained by the control of depressive symptoms, McCall said.

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. Doctors administer ECT after the patient has been given both an anesthetic and a muscle relaxant.

Before the ECT treatment, the authors said, health-related quality of life was very low.

The team measured quality of life with a tool called Medical Outcomes Study Short Form before ECT, several days after ECT, and again 24 weeks later. Before the ECT treatment, the authors said, health-related quality of life was very low: for example a measure called "vitality" was 20.4, "social functioning" was 22.8, and "emotional" was 6.4. Six months later, vitality was 40.1, social functioning was 55.2 and emotional was 42.8.

"All these scales have a range of scores from 0 to 100 with 100 being fully functional and zero indicating a complete deficit," McCall said.

Overall, at 24 weeks, 78 percent of the patients had improved quality of life. While the study did not extend beyond six months, McCall said that in earlier studies he reported improvements in quality of life persist for a year in most patients after ECT.

McCall said the evidence from the current study and his earlier ones at Wake Forest counters the argument of those who would like to severely restrict ECT.

"Some agencies have recommended that ECT be restricted in use because of perceived gaps in knowledge regarding it effects of health-related quality of life," McCall said. He noted that the National Institute for Clinical Excellence in the United Kingdom recommended limits on ECT, pending more information, especially on the impact of ECT on quality of life.

"Our results indicate that a restrictive public policy toward ECT is not warranted on the basis of the effect of ECT on quality of life," McCall said.

He said there were side effects to ECT. Most patients experience temporary learning difficulties for up to two weeks after ECT. Permanent memory loss of the events in the few months preceding ECT is also common, he said.

Robert Conn | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wfubmc.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Routing gene therapy directly into the brain
07.12.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

nachricht New Hope for Cancer Therapies: Targeted Monitoring may help Improve Tumor Treatment
01.12.2017 | Berliner Institut für Gesundheitsforschung / Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)

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: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

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

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Midwife and signpost for photons

11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas

11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

PhoxTroT: Optical Interconnect Technologies Revolutionized Data Centers and HPC Systems

11.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>