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Can ECT-induced cognitive effects be altered pharmacologically?

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.


1. A systematic review of the literature revealed twelve clinical trials that evaluated nine different drugs, and used three different conceptual models to prevent, restore or treat ECT-induced cognitive deficits. 2. This review indicated inconclusive results regarding clinical utility of any of the drugs. 3. Major factors discussed include the complexities involved in the evaluation of ECT-induced cognitive deficits, and the techniques of evaluating changes in cognitive functions. 4. Our conclusion is that future research should emphasize understanding the neural mechanisms related to ECT-induced cognitive deficits. We suggest several areas for future exploration.

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