The Effects Of Electroconvulsive Therapy On Intellectual Functioning, Immediate Memory Recall And Mental Depression
Intellectual functioning, immediate memory recall ability, and depression levels before and after electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) were assessed in 11 patients who received bilateral treatment. Patients were tested 24-48 hr before initial treatment and 2 weeks after final treatment. The Full-Range Picture Vocabulary Test, the Memory-For-Designs Test, and the Self-Rating Depression Scale were used to measure intellectual functioning, memory recall, and mental depression, respectively. An age- and sex-matched control group of 11 individuals none of whom had evidence of mental disturbance was also tested to assist in accurate interpretation of experimental data. Corrected test results for the experimental group showed an average, overall improvement two weeks after ECT of 4.8% in intellectual functioning, 6.25% in immediate memory recall and 42.8% in mental status with depression reduced or eliminated. However, these improvements in intellectual and memory functioning were not viewed as conclusive evidence that no disturbances in these functions persist 2 weeks following treatment. Improved affective state and ego functioning after ECT could have masked any functional disturbances present. Nevertheless, whether or not any functional impairment actually persisted, the clinical conclusion was that all 11 patients were able to function normally 2 weeks after treatment was completed.