13 doctors weighed in:
Are there risks of electroconvulsive therapy?
13 doctors weighed in

Dr. Edward Smith
Neurology
7 doctors agree
In brief: Yes
Although electroconvulsive therapy is generally performed under general anesthetic, the brain may still be damaged.
In fact memory loss is a common side-effect. Other cognitive changes may occur.

In brief: Yes
Although electroconvulsive therapy is generally performed under general anesthetic, the brain may still be damaged.
In fact memory loss is a common side-effect. Other cognitive changes may occur.
Dr. Edward Smith
Dr. Edward Smith
Thank
Dr. James Fox
Psychiatry
3 doctors agree
In brief: Several risks
Anesthesia carries a risk including allergy and cardiac arrest but no more so than any other procedure.
Ect risks include headache, short term disorientation, and memory impairment. This may be mitigated by electrode placement. Right unilateral has very little memory impairment & recovery is quicker. Some degree of memory loss is common with bilateral placement & may be significant.

In brief: Several risks
Anesthesia carries a risk including allergy and cardiac arrest but no more so than any other procedure.
Ect risks include headache, short term disorientation, and memory impairment. This may be mitigated by electrode placement. Right unilateral has very little memory impairment & recovery is quicker. Some degree of memory loss is common with bilateral placement & may be significant.
Dr. James Fox
Dr. James Fox
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Dr. Alan Ali
Psychiatry
1 doctor agrees
In brief: ECT
Some are confusion, memory loss & physical such as nausea, vomiting, headache, muscle spasms, increase heart rate/blood pressure.

In brief: ECT
Some are confusion, memory loss & physical such as nausea, vomiting, headache, muscle spasms, increase heart rate/blood pressure.
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Ali
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Dr. Ernest Bordini
Clinical Psychology
In brief: Yes -memory loss
In addition to the anesthesia risk, there is risk of memory loss some of which may clear with time, but for a small percentage of patients my actually deteriorate after some early recovery.
Since many centers do right-sided memory loss, the spatial memory difficulties can be harder to notice - and many more difficulties are noted on neuropsychological than basic neuro testing. Results vary.

In brief: Yes -memory loss
In addition to the anesthesia risk, there is risk of memory loss some of which may clear with time, but for a small percentage of patients my actually deteriorate after some early recovery.
Since many centers do right-sided memory loss, the spatial memory difficulties can be harder to notice - and many more difficulties are noted on neuropsychological than basic neuro testing. Results vary.
Dr. Ernest Bordini
Dr. Ernest Bordini
Thank
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