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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Does bilateral ECT cause dementia?

Can ECT s, especially bilateral ones cause dementia? My husband had 10 unilateral and 11 bilateral ECT;s for depression and 2 months later was diagnosed with dementia. His CT scan prior to ECT showed a 1.6 x 3.2 cm left temporal arachnoid cyst, and mild atrophy and chronic microvascular ischemic changes
Fri, 23 Mar 2018
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello,

I appreciate your concern for your husband. Electroconvulsive therapy does not seem to be the cause of dementia. Since your husband had been suffering from depression prior to ECT, depressive episodes themselves are often accompanied by profound cognitive changes, which are sometimes severe enough to present as dementia ('pseudodementia') and extensive research has found no relation between ECT and brain damage resulting in dementia.

There's nothing to worry about it as for most people these problems usually improve within a couple of months after treatment ends.


Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. Mohammed Taher Ali
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