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Biol Psychiatry. 1990 Feb 1;27(3):289-303.

A placebo-controlled evaluation of vasopressin for ECT-induced memory impairment.

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Psychopharmacology Research Association of Princeton, New Jersey 08540.


Vasopressin may be involved in normal memory functions and may alleviate certain memory impairments. In this study, the usefulness of vasopressin to relieve electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)-induced memory impairment was evaluated using a placebo-controlled, random assignment, double-blind design. Patients were 33 depressives receiving bilateral ECT. Vasopressin, in a nasal spray, was administered q.i.d. from the first through the fifth ECT. Extensive memory testing evaluated both retrograde and anterograde amnesia; ratings of depression and patient ratings of subjective memory complaints were also obtained. Results did not show statistically significant evidence of benefit from vasopressin, though a number of comparisons were in the predicted direction. The role of vasopressin in reducing memory impairment of various types remains to be elucidated.

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