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Differential Effect of Unilateral and Bilateral ECT
Am J Psychiatry 1970;127:430-436.
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Physician in psychological medicine, Guy's Hospital, London, S.E. I, England

Lecturer in medical psychology, department of psychiatry, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria, Australia

Director of research and education, Saskatchewan Hospital, Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada

Registrar, Warneford Hospital, Oxford, England

1971, American Psychiatric Association

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A double-blind clinical trial compared the effects on three patient groups of bilateral ECT and unilateral ECT to the dominant and nondominant hemispheres. After six ECTs there was no significant difference among the three groups in depression relief. However, unilateral ECT to the nondominant hemisphere reduced the chance of memory disturbance and offered the best chance of quick recovery with few side effects. The authors conclude that it is the treatment of choice when ECT is given for depression.

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