Long-term follow-up in depressed patients treated with ECT

Aki Johanson, Lars Gustafson, Jarl Risberg, Ingmar Rosén, Martin Sjöbeck, P Silfverskiöld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Design: The aim was to study the long-term effects of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in depression. 55 patients were followed-up 20-24 years after an ECT series. 13 patients were still alive and 10 agreed to participate in the study. All 55 patients had been investigated with clinical and neuropsychological assessment and with neurophysiological measurements; regional Cerebral Blood Flow (rCBF) and EEG before the first ECT, six months later and after about one year. These investigations were now repeated in the 10 patients.
Results: Before the original ECT series all patients had suffered from severe mood disorder. At the follow-up the 10 patients showed no clear signs of mood disorder or cognitive impairment. There was a slightly subnormal performance in working memory and in verbal as well as visual episodic memory on all three occasions after the ECT series. The rCBF measurement showed a significant average CBF decrease from the first to the last measurement. There was, moreover, a significant rCBF decrease in frontal areas at the last measurement compared to the three previous assessments.
Conclusion: All ten patients followed-up 20 – 24 years after an ECT series were mentally healthy and thus besides a moderate visual memory dysfunction no severe side effects were observed with clinical and neuroimaging techniques.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-220
JournalJournal of ECT
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Department of Psychogeriatrics (013304000), Department of Psychology (012010000), Clinical Neurophysiology (013013001)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Psychiatry


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