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CLINICAL EVALUATION OF UNILATERAL EST
WINSTON L. MARTIN; HAMILTON F. FORD; EUGENE C. McDANALD, JR.; MARTIN L. TOWLER
Am J Psychiatry 1965;121:1087-1090.
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112 North Blvd., Galveston, Texas

1960 by The American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

This study was an attempt to determine clinically the therapeutic efficacy and degree of memory impairment of unilateral ECT as compared to bilateral ECT. Two groups of 20 patients were given a course of 10 EST, one group unilaterally and the other bilaterally.The comparison of these two groups would indicate that the desirable benefit of ECT is the same for both types of treatment but with considerably less memory impairment with unilateral treatment.If these results are valid, unilateral ECT might be employed more effectively in the treatment of outpatients, patients who depend upon their memory to function professionally, patients wth some organic memory impairment, patients who show marked confusion and memory loss, or paranoid and phobic patients who become upset because of the memory loss and confusion of bilateral treatment.Possibly, with unilateral treatment, patients could be treated more rapidly and thus decrease time required in the hospital and time for the convalescence period necessitated by bilateral ECT.EEGs done before and after ECT disclosed unilateral cerebral dysrhythmia on those patients who received unilateral EST and bilateral dysrhythmia in those patients who were treated bilaterally. This finding is probably related to the difference in memory function between the two groups.

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