Will ECT Work for Me? – Predictors of ECT Efficacy
It would be nice to know ahead of time if a treatment would work. Unfortunately, no one cal tell the future: not for cancer treatment and not for mental illness treatment like electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) either.
Will Electroconvulsive Therapy Work for Me?
But very smart people try to figure out what might predict the outcome of treatments. Especially treatments like ECT, a hotly debated, and much maligned treatment. That’s the good news. And the bad news.
In a retrospective chart review of depressive and bipolar patients in a Netherlands hospital, of those who received ECT, 65.8% met the standards for remission. The only predictor of response found was duration of index series.
The good part here is that medication failure did not predict response; so theoretically, no matter how many medications you have failed you have an equal chance of response to ECT.
The bad part is that the more times you get ECT in your initial series, the more likely you are to respond. I say this is bad because the more times you do ECT the more chances are you’re going to suffer more and worsening cognitive side effects too.
It’s something to consider when thinking about starting or stopping ECT treatment.
Image by rolffimages / 123RF Stock Photo.
About Natasha Tracy
Natasha Tracy is an award-winning writer, speaker and consultant from the Pacific Northwest. She has been living with bipolar disorder for 18 years and has written more than 1000 articles on the subject.