The author reviews reports of neuropathology resulting from
electroconvulsive therapy in experimental animals and humans. Although
findings of petechial hemorrhage, gliosis, and neuronal loss were well
established in the decade following the introduction of ECT, they have been
generally ignored since then. ECT produces characteristic EEG changes and
severe retrograde amnesia, as well as other more subtle effects on memory
and learning. The author concludes that ECT results in brain disease and
questions whether doctors should offer brain damage to their patients.