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Article   |    
Treatment Delays in the Course of Electroconvulsive Therapy
Michael E. Miller; Samuel G. Siris; Arthur N. Gabriel
Psychiatric Services 1986; doi:
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The authors thank Max Fink, M.D., Lori H. Lefkovitz, Ph.D., and Barbara R. Berger, M.B.A., for their helpful comments.

The Department of Psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University

The Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine

1986 American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is often delayed because the patient develops cognitive disturbances. The authors reviewed the charts of 45 depressed patients who received ECT and found that 25 patients developed cognitive dysfunctions severe enough to cause a delay in treatment. The development of organic symptoms causing delays in treatment was positively correlated with increased age and the presence of preexisting cognitive dysfunction, and the treatment delays led to longer periods of hospitalization. The authors emphasize the need for early identification of the causes of cognitive dysfunction after ECT and for careful selection of the treatment strategy for each patient to reduce the risk of adverse effects.

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