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Posted on Fri, 14 Jul 2017 in Mental Health
Question: What is both the short and long term success rate of ECT? Does the initial success percentage diminish at all over time? What precisely is the risk of long term memory loss? I recently completed a complete round of TMS which finished without remission but with a bit of improvement. However, my memory loss has greatly increased in this past year. Also, in a side by side comparison between rTMS and ECT, please detail as much as possible the final success rates between these 2 methods in terms of their success with a patient like me, severe MDD, mild anxiety, and very high medication resistance features. I've suffered about 14 years of mild depression which was completely triggered by severe Post Partum Depression. However, the most recent 2.5 years, the characteristics of my MDD have SEVERELY deepened and intensified in all aspects. We have not had a single antidepressant even briefly curtail any of the symtoms. (I've tried about 9-13 total) Currently, I'm taking a cocktail of medicines, the major being a significant dose of Lithium. I have never demonstrated any other illnesses or complications besides MDD with mild anxiety (this of which surfaces only occassionally). My core interest here is any info you can share at all regarding my next step to ECT and what I can expect from it that obviously never occurred following my TMS).

THANK YOU!
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Answered by Dr. Ashok Kumar 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
ECT is highly efficient form of treatment for MDD

Detailed Answer:
Dear XXXXXXX
Thanks for using Healthcaremagic.

I read your query and understand your concerns about treatment resistant depression.

Generally it has been said that all form of effective medications help the patient with depression in two third of cases and ECT helps to achieve remission in 90-95 % of depression. In treatment resistant depression who need ECT almost 90% of patient get either response (50% improvement) or remission (75 % or more effect). The above data is related for acute effect of ECT on depression.

Regarding long term effect, it has been discovered that patient need to continue with pharmacological treatment to retain the effect of ECT on long term. There is limited studies but even ECT can be continued on the interval of fortnight as maintenance form of treatment.

There is no diminished effect of ECT over time but if you do not receive treatment for certain duration you may need another session with ECT.

Personally I also observed that after the ECT treatment, many of the patients become responsive to medication (to which earlier there was little/no response) and may need only medication for continuing treatment.

Regarding the memory loss it is often short term memory loss and the long term effect is negligible if any. In case there is more memory loss spacing the ECT can help and this is routinely practiced at most centers delivering ECT.

As per the available data and my experience with ECT and rTMS the success rate is much higher with ECT in compare to rTMS. It will not be wrong to state that ECT is the most effective form of treatment for depression on current date. Unfortunately we do not have any studies for comparison of ECT and TMS but the experience clearly favors ECT when it comes to efficacy.

I hope this helps you.
If you have any further query, I would be glad to help you.
In future, if you wish to ask any more questions, you can use the below-mentioned link to contact me.

http://doctor.healthcaremagic.com/doctors/dr-ashok-kumar/67386

Thanks and regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Ashok Kumar

Psychiatrist

Practicing since :2000

Answered : 3157 Questions

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