A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW ON COGNITIVE EFFECTS OF ELECTROCONVULSIVE THERAPY IN ASIAN PATIENTS
Yining Ong , Lai Gwen Yining Ong Chan *
Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Received: May 21, 2021; Revised: July 19, 2021; Accepted: July 27, 2021; Published online: July 27, 2021.
© The Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

Abstract
Objective: Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is the most efficacious treatment for many major mental illnesses but is limited by cognitive side effects. However, research on the pattern and severity of ECT-related cognitive side effects is inconsistent. Furthermore, little is known about the cognitive effects of ECT in Asian populations. A systematic review was conducted to examine objective cognitive performance following ECT in the Asian context.
Methods: This review systematically identified studies assessing ECT-related cognitive effects in PubMED, PsychINFO, The Cochrane Library, Journal of ECT and major databases in Asian countries. The search included publications from peer-reviewed journals of languages other than English.
Results: A total of 6,322 studies were identified; 823 were assessed for eligibility, of which 16 studies met the search criteria and were included in this review. Majority used high dose Bitemporal ECT for Depression and/or Schizophrenia. Cognitive impairment, which could occur immediate to the first ECT session, was reported in only 9 out of the 16 studies. However, deficits were observed to resolve as early as 3 weeks after the initiation of ECT. The remaining studies reported no impairment or even improvement after ECT.
Conclusions: There is no consistent evidence that suggests ECT causes cognitive deficits in patients, despite the widespread use of high dose Bitemporal ECT. This review suggests that Asian patients, presenting with a different psychiatric profile, may respond to high-dose Bitemporal ECT differently from Western samples. 
Keywords: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), cognition, cognitive impairment, psychiatric disorder, review, Asia


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