Dichotic perception and memory following electroconvulsive treatment for depression

Br J Psychiatry 1990 Sep;157:366-72
Author(s): Williams KM; Iacono WG; Remick RA; Greenwood P
Abstract: Verbal and visuospatial memory and dichotic listening performance were examined in 15 acutely depressed patients with no history of ECT, 17 depressed patients currently in remission, 15 remitted depressed patients who had received ECT six months or more in the past, and 20 normal controls. The neuropsychological functioning of an additional group of 10 acutely depressed patients was also studied before and two weeks after ECT. The results revealed some evidence of logical and autobiographical memory impairment two weeks following ECT, but no evidence that ECT impaired dichotic listening ability. Rather, a normalisation of hemispheric laterality was apparent on the dichotic listening task following ECT and the concomitant relief from depression. There was also no evidence of cognitive dysfunction on any task in individuals who were tested six months or more following their last ECT treatment.