Ritu Nehra, Subho Chakrabarti, Nitasha Khehra, Rajni Sharma, Nitesh Painuly
Objective: To examine the short term subjective and objective memory impairments in depressed patients during the course of ECT.
Design: prospective and cross sectional design.
Place & duration of study: The patients were recruited at the Department of Psychiatry, PGIMER, Chandigarh, for a period of 2 years and followed up for 1 month after treatment with ECT.
Subjects & Methods: Patients with severe depression (n = 32) were followed up while they were receiving ECT’s, and up to a month after that. They were rated independently and blindly on the MMSE for global cognitive dysfunction, the PGI Memory Scale for objective memory loss, Squire Subjective Memory Questionnaire for subjective memory loss and the Montgomery-Asberg Depression rating Scale (MADRS) for severity of depression.
Results: The MMSE and PGIMS (objective memory) scores dipped during the course of ECT, but picked up in the week and month following cessation of treatment. MADRS scores registered a gradual decline as patients improved throughout the course of ECT. The SSMQ scores also showed a gradual improvement during the course of ECT. However, subjective memory scores did show consistent correlations with MMSE, MADRS and objective memory.
Conclusion: There is considerable subjective memory impairment during a course of ECT, even in the short term. However, subjective memory scores do improve with treatment.
Key words: Subjective Memory, Objective Memory, Depression