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Epilepsy and Memory$
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Adam Zeman, Narinder Kapur, and Marilyn Jones-Gotman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199580286

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580286.001.0001

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Electroconvulsive therapy for depression and autobiographical memory

Electroconvulsive therapy for depression and autobiographical memory

Chapter:
(p.244) Chapter 14 Electroconvulsive therapy for depression and autobiographical memory
Source:
Epilepsy and Memory
Author(s):

Hedvig Söderlund

Alexander Percy

Brian Levine

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580286.003.0014

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is used to treat otherwise treatment-resistant depression. Despite clear mood-enhancing effects, it is associated with complaints of memory loss. This chapter outlines a brief history of ECT, its effects on the brain and on memory, and why subjective memory loss may surpass the objectively measured loss. It also presents results from an ongoing study assessing autobiographical memory following ECT using the Autobiographical Interview, which separates episodic from semantic autobiographical memory. Initial analyses suggest a disproportional impairment of episodic memory, although semantic memory to some extent is also affected. In spite of some recovery, this impairment persists three months after treatment. This research validates the subjective impairments reported by ECT patients, and supports theoretical constructs of memory that assume a behavioural and neural separation between episodic and semantic autobiographical memory.

Keywords:   depression, treatment, memory loss, subjective memory, autobiographical memory, episodic memory, semantic memory

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