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Am J Psychiatry. 1977 Sep;134(9):997-1001.

ECT and memory loss.


The author reviews several studies that clarify the nature of the memory loss associated with ECT. Bilateral ECT produced greater anterograde memory loss than right unilateral ECT and more extensive retrograde amnesia than unilateral ECT. Reactivating memories just before ECT did not produce amnesia. Capacity for new learning recovered substantially by several months after ECT, but memory complaints were common in individuals who had received bilateral ECT. Other things being equal, right unilateral ECT seems preferable to bilateral ECT because the risks to memory associated with unilateral ECT are smaller.

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