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Bilateral and unilateral ECT: effects on verbal and nonverbal memory
Am J Psychiatry 1978;135:1316-1320.
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Abstract

The memory loss associated with bilateral and nondominant unilateral ECT was assessed with verbal memory tests known to be sensitive to left temporal lobe dysfunction and with nonverbal memory tests known to be sensitive to right temporal lobe dysfunction. Bilateral ECT markedly impaired delayed retention of verbal and nonverbal material. Right unilateral ECT impaired delayed retention of nonverbal material without measurably affecting retention of verbal material. Nonverbal memory was affected less by right unilateral ECT than by bilateral ECT. These findings, taken together with a consideration of the clinical efficacy of the two types of treatment, make what appears to be a conclusive case for unilateral over bilateral ECT.

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