Does anyone have any experience with techniques or treatments that help to regain memory loss and concentration problems, … that were caused by ECT treatments? I am addressing the long term results, not the temporary loss folding the first weeks of treatment. I recently read about an oxygen rich chamber that helped people with neurological problems after trauma. Improved memory function was one of the functions that that the chamber seemed to expedite.
I certainly empathize with you as I am undergoing ECT at this time and have been August of 2010. It’s impossible to share the result of an experience like we’ve had and while I don’t want to say our memory loss is the same, suffice to say we’re both suffering from it. Especially the day of treatment I have difficulty recalling where I worked, my phone number, and even my address! I’m hoping these will be temporary.
Addressing your question I talked, once again, to the physicians and professors that treat me. They shared with me some basics (which I’m sure you also heard but worth repeating in sum)…
- While the mechanism of action of ECT is not known, they do know that the brain damage, brain trauma, and similar theories likely false.
- They recounted to me a dissection done on a 70+ year old man who had received several hundred ECT treatments and showed no abnormalities
- They also reported no vascular deltas between a healthy brain and the brain of someone who has received ECT
- While there are no studies on the overall ECT population with regards to memory returning, the physicians and professors reported the majority of their patients had their recall of recent events improve once stopping ECT. Recall of ‘forgotten’ events (someone’s birthday, etc) is more difficult to quantify in the patient population, per their opinion.
Personally cannot get to the core of your question as I am still receiving ECT… and at the same time I received [yet another] nearly unanimous affirmation that short-term memory recall and most ‘forgotten’ memories return after treatments have ceased.
In asking them about what other options there might be for someone with memory loss from ECT, I asked about the hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). They had not heard of using HBOT for memory loss in their population as HBOT is generally used for brain trauma and vascular restriction. One thing they did make clear is that HBOT would not be covered by insurance as there is no correlation yet established between ECT induced memory loss and HBOT. I have to admit, that in my searching on the Internet I couldn’t immediately find any journal articles referring to such a study, even anecdotally.
The two situations in which I found online that HBOT helps in are physical, and while the mechanism of action of ECT is not known, at least the physicians report having evidence its not physical. I’d be concerned about the cost of the treatment in relation to the benefit received. If money and time are no issue, it certainly couldn’t hurt to try.
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