Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience Papers in Press available online.

Yining Ong , Lai Gwen Yining Ong Chan
Tan Tock Seng Hospital
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. 
Accepted Manuscript [Submitted on 2021-05-21, Accepted on 2021-07-27]