5 doctors weighed in:

Which kind of memory is disrupted by electroconvulsive therapy?

5 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Fox
Psychiatry
3 doctors agree

In brief: Retrograde Amnesia

Memory loss w/ ECT is more likely to impair recent memories than ingrained ones.
The more "fresh" the memory, the more likely it may be lost. It is not entire loss of memory, but rather "holes" in your memory. For example, you may remember who attended your recent birthday party, but have no recollection of any gifts. Unilateral electrode placement affects memory more than right unilateral.

In brief: Retrograde Amnesia

Memory loss w/ ECT is more likely to impair recent memories than ingrained ones.
The more "fresh" the memory, the more likely it may be lost. It is not entire loss of memory, but rather "holes" in your memory. For example, you may remember who attended your recent birthday party, but have no recollection of any gifts. Unilateral electrode placement affects memory more than right unilateral.
Dr. James Fox
Dr. James Fox
Thank
Dr. Joseph Quinn
Neurology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Short term memory.

Electroconvulsive therapy for depression has been given a scary reputation in movies, but it is actually an effective therapy which is appropriate in some cases of severe depression.
Patients frequently have some memory loss surrounding the time of the procedure, and those memories are not recovered. However, electroconvulsive therapy is not thought to produce progressive memory loss.

In brief: Short term memory.

Electroconvulsive therapy for depression has been given a scary reputation in movies, but it is actually an effective therapy which is appropriate in some cases of severe depression.
Patients frequently have some memory loss surrounding the time of the procedure, and those memories are not recovered. However, electroconvulsive therapy is not thought to produce progressive memory loss.
Dr. Joseph Quinn
Dr. Joseph Quinn
Thank
1 comment
Dr. James Fox
That is correct, it will not make it difficult for you to make new memories. Memory loss around the time of treatment is common and to be expected, as with other procedures in which anesthesia is used.
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