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Right now, can you order antabuse online however, a majority of states fall short of daily testing goals. Recent surveys suggest that about 63 percent of people tested wait longer than one to two days for results, even though that is the ideal turnaround window for contact tracing. The shortfall can you order antabuse online may stem from national coordination issues. "As far as I have seen, it's not a lack of willingness to provide more tests — it comes down to ability," says Maragakis. Faltering supply chains mean the essential tools needed to test and test fast are in short supply.

"In my opinion, we need a much more coordinated national response to testing in order to solve can you order antabuse online those problems." What A Test Can Doalcoholism tests do more than deliver peace of mind if, say, you feel congested and learn that it’s a regular cold. The results inform public health officials about the spread and containment of alcoholism treatment and help determine what kind of care you get.For example, many people getting a alcoholism test will also get an influenza test (possibly with a new two-in-one technology). If someone has can you order antabuse online the regular flu, there are approved medications to fight off the they can take. In past flu seasons, healthcare practitioners administered influenza tests but often treated the individual as if they had the before getting results, Swaminathan says. The odds of their illness being the flu are high enough to make that a reasonable choice.

With much more uncertainty this year can you order antabuse online about what someone might have and what treatments could help them, the prescribe-before-results habit will likely be much less common. The prospects of not knowing what kind of illness you might have, or waiting a long time for official lab results, might sound gloomy. But there is a bright can you order antabuse online side. It's possible that our alcoholism treatment mitigation tactics, like wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings, could reduce influenza spread as well. This scenario likely played out in the Southern Hemisphere earlier this year.

That half of the globe sees an influenza season during the Northern Hemisphere's spring can you order antabuse online and summer, and many countries reported very low non-alcoholism treatment diagnoses. To keep influenza and alcoholism treatment cases low — and to keep you from playing the symptomatic guessing game with yourself — stick with those preventative health measures for the foreseeable future. "It’s not going to last forever," says Swaminathan, "but we have to be patient and we have to be vigilant.".

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This #BiomedicalScienceDay2021, I want to say a big THANK YOU to the Biomedical Scientists and laboratory staff working #AtTheHeartOfHealthcare 24/7/365. I'm so proud to lead our professional body and will do everything in my power to support you and your profession!. pic.twitter.com/rdvzcT4Pzz — David Wells (@DavidRWells) June 24, 2021 This #BiomedicalScienceDay2021, I would like to call for the antabuse after drinking @GOVUK to provide more funded training places to bolster the biomedical science workforce. We are short of staff #AtTheHeartOfHealthcare - and the antabuse has shown just how vital the staff #BehindEveryTest truly are!.

pic.twitter.com/YNWrP5H7OY — David Wells (@DavidRWells) June 24, 2021 Thank you to everybody who contacted your local politicians. We had more political support than ever before - many using our messaging that we had written for our members to antabuse after drinking use. Tweets included. The Health Secretary, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP - Tooting, Ruth Cadbury MP - MP Brentford &.

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?. pic.twitter.com/GN06Me0qOx — NHS England and NHS Improvement (@NHSEngland) June 24, 2021 Public Health England - 491.7K Followers Today is #BiomedicalScienceDay2021 We want to say a big thank you to all Biomedical Scientists, Clinical Scientists and laboratory staff who work at PHE and beyond. You are #AtTheHeartOfHealthcare.Watch our video about starting a career in Biomedical Science. Pic.twitter.com/gGTY2UJYhN — Public Health England (@PHE_uk) June 24, 2021 HCPC.

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We are committed to raising awareness &. Understanding of their vital work. Pic.twitter.com/mxp8ZaoOn1 — AlzheimersResearchUK ?. ?.

(@AlzResearchUK) June 24, 2021 We want to take this opportunity to thank all of our members who were involved in celebrating #BiomedicalScienceDay2021. It's wonderful to see the profession #AtTheHeartOfHealthcare rise up and show everybody the expertise and value of the people #BehindEveryTest. We can't wait for next year!. As we bring a close to #BiomedicalScienceDay2021, we want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has taken part and celebrated the vital role of the UK's biomedical science workforce #AtTheHeartOfHealthcare.

To view the gallery of images visit https://t.co/gh1NDCHgtJ pic.twitter.com/wdIKeXEBnb — IBMS #AtTheHeartOfHealthcare (@IBMScience) June 24, 202111 June 2021 As the profession gets ready to celebrate Biomedical Science Day, June's episode showcases the excellent achievements and inspiring work of three outstanding Biomedical Scientists. In the month we celebrate Biomedical Science Day, IBMS pod spoke to senior microbiologist and national member of IBMS council Zonya Jeffrey. She tells us all about her 4-year placement on the ground in Tanzania fighting Malaria and HIV. She talks to us about 'Child Aid Tanzania' - a charity she co-founded after she returned.

The wide-ranging interview also covered unusual outbreaks in her lab in Manchester, her goals on IBMS Council, a World Health Organisation (WHO) project in Sierra Leone and what she did as Science Exhibitor with the BBC. Later in a special LabLife, award-winning Husband and Wife Biomedical Scientist duo Akinola and Olubukola Adewunmi join Ella on LabLife. They discuss their projects outside of the lab educating the public about Sickle Cell Disease and encouraging blood donations from BAME communities - for which they won a National BAME Health &. Care Award.

Microbiology &. Overseas aid - with Zonya Jeffrey Zonya Jeffrey has a unique role as a senior microbiologist in a busy 24/7 laboratory at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. It involves diagnostic bench work isolating, identifying and antibiotic susceptibility testing of bacteria and parasites, and training and development of students, trainees, and staff. We asked Zonya to tell us what a typical day looks like before moving on to some of the more unusual days!.

Including one where she had to stay behind to manage an outbreak in a nursing home. Zonya also addressed Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) – i.e. Does she come across s not treatable with regular antibiotics, and if so, how often?. Next, we moved on to her overseas projects working in labs in Tanzania and Sierra Leone.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported that Tanzania accounted for 5% of global deaths from Malaria in 2019 – which is approximately 20,500 deaths. Zonya spent four years in Tanzania as a laboratory technologist and Biomedical Scientist with the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). VSO sent her group to set up a new microbiology laboratory and train and staff in basic tests and techniques. Hoping to give something back to the community she had been part of, Zonya, her sister and her friend established the charity 'Child Aid Tanzania'.

It aims to support mothers &. Their babies and children in families living in communities affected by HIV/AIDS and Malaria. They provide anti-malaria bed nets and help fund child education. Zonya then told us about a WHO project in Sierra Leone she was involved with to combat Cholera.

You'd be testing hundreds of slides a day for Malaria. Our thoughts were what can we do to help a community that we lived in for more than four years. The first thing we did was to provide new mosquito bednets for new mothers at hospitals, children and the most vulnerable. We also provide education like fundraising for desks and school uniforms for primary school children.

Zonya also discussed her IBMS council objectives, how the antabuse has impacted her lab in Manchester, work with the BBC, and finally faced our quick-fire round!. LabLife with Akinola and Olubukola Adewunmi We catch up with Akin and Olu Adewunmi, husband &. Wife Biomedical Scientists at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Trust. The pair recently won the 2021 Health and Wellbeing Advocate award from the National BAME Health &.

Care Awards for their exceptional work running their charity Path Lab Support, which is dedicated to educating the public about Sickle Cell Disease and encouraging blood donations from BAME communities. They talk to us about the experience and challenges of their charitable work and what it is like to be recognised with a national award. I would advise my colleagues, biomedical scientists, to not limit our career skills to the four walls of the laboratory alone. Let's think beyond the box and use our career skills to create social action projects that benefit our communities Akin &.

Olu have both also recently published books. Akin's book, Beyond The WorkPlace, guides scientists and others to use their career skills to inspire and create change in their communities. In Olu's book Take Hold Of Your Life, Olu relates her experience as a councillor to give advice for empowering one's self. In the spirit of Olu &.

Akin's work, we would also like to promote that World Blood Donor Day is coming up on 14th June. Visit www.blood.co.uk to find out how to get involved. How to listen To listen to any of our podcasts, series 1 and 2, as well as subscribe to future episodes, visit. Episode outline 0:20 – IBMS News 2:06 – Feature Interview with Zonya Jeffrey 2:30 - Part 1.

Microbiology in Manchester – including an introduction to Zonya and her work, typical day, most memorable outbreaks, training &.

On Facebook and Twitter, #BiomedicalScienceDay2021 was used in posts 3,666 times with 45.6k accounts can you order antabuse online sharing the posts and 13.7K liking them. 59.6K people interacted with posts using the hashtag. The potential audience reach for all posts was 12.4m. #AtTheHeartOfHealthcare was used in can you order antabuse online posts 2,754 times with 42.3K accounts sharing the posts and 12.7K liking them.

55.2K people interacted with posts using the hashtag. The potential audience reach for all posts was 9.5m.On Instagram and TikTok, members and NHS trusts shared even more photos and videos of their celebrations, hosted live streams explaining their role and touring their lab. Members who tagged @IBMScience were included in our can you order antabuse online Instagram and Facebook story chronicling the best moments throughout the day. You can still view this story in our Instagram account under highlights.iNews drew attention to our awareness campaign on the day and the profession received a shout out on BBC Radio 2 from Sara Cox.Across the UK, communications teams in hospitals and university laboratories handed their social media accounts over to their pathology staff and allowed them to celebrate and inform their followers about the skills and expertise involved in their practice.

We lost count of the amount of wonderful and informative videos and digital tours from our members who were doing social media takeovers for their Trusts and Hospitals. You can see a can you order antabuse online large collection of the photos that our members shared in our photo gallery. If you had your photo taken on the day, it's likely you will have ended up in there (or will do in the coming days). Here are some of the most popular tweets from the day - including our opening video.

Happy can you order antabuse online #BiomedicalScienceDay2021. Today we are celebrating the biomedical scientists and laboratory staff who work #AtTheHeartOfHealthcare analysing over 1 billion patient samples a year and informing over 70% of all diagnoses pic.twitter.com/fCaOy06ftF — IBMS #AtTheHeartOfHealthcare (@IBMScience) June 24, 2021 and some messages from our very own Chief Executive David Wells. This #BiomedicalScienceDay2021, I want to say a big THANK YOU to the Biomedical Scientists and laboratory staff working #AtTheHeartOfHealthcare 24/7/365. I'm so proud to lead our professional body and will do can you order antabuse online everything in my power to support you and your profession!.

pic.twitter.com/rdvzcT4Pzz — David Wells (@DavidRWells) June 24, 2021 This #BiomedicalScienceDay2021, I would like to call for the @GOVUK to provide more funded training places to bolster the biomedical science workforce. We are short of staff #AtTheHeartOfHealthcare - and the antabuse has shown just how vital the staff #BehindEveryTest truly are!. pic.twitter.com/YNWrP5H7OY — David Wells (@DavidRWells) June 24, 2021 Thank you to everybody who contacted your local politicians can you order antabuse online. We had more political support than ever before - many using our messaging that we had written for our members to use.

Tweets included. The Health Secretary, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP can you order antabuse online - Tooting, Ruth Cadbury MP - MP Brentford &. Isleworth, Lord Bethall, John Stevenson MP - Carlisle, Bell Ribiero-Addy MP - Streatham, Jonathan Reynolds MP – Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Oliver Heald MP - Hertfordshire, Gerald Jones MP – Merthyr Tydfil &. Rhymney, Michelle Gildernew – Sinn Fein, Colm Gidernew MLA, Paula Barker MP Liverpool Wavertree, Grahame Morris MP Easington, Martina Anderson MLA Sinn Fein, Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Health, NI Dept of Health – Health Minister, Naomi Long MLA - NI Justice Minister and Dawn Bowden - Co-op Member of the Senedd for the Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney.

THANK can you order antabuse online YOU. To biomedical science superstars ?. ?. Whether on treatments, therapeutics, or diagnostics, your work has been can you order antabuse online central to the antabuse response?.

?. #BiomedicalScienceDay2021 #BiomedicalScienceDay pic.twitter.com/1NYU2rJBWY — Lord Bethell (@JimBethell) June 24, 2021 Major healthcare accounts also showed their solidarity with the profession. NHS England - 484.1K Followers Today is #BiomedicalScienceDay and we’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to all our biomedical scientists, clinical scientists and other pathology staff for all their continued hard work for patients and staff. ?.

?. €?. ?. pic.twitter.com/GN06Me0qOx — NHS England and NHS Improvement (@NHSEngland) June 24, 2021 Public Health England - 491.7K Followers Today is #BiomedicalScienceDay2021 We want to say a big thank you to all Biomedical Scientists, Clinical Scientists and laboratory staff who work at PHE and beyond.

You are #AtTheHeartOfHealthcare.Watch our video about starting a career in Biomedical Science. Pic.twitter.com/gGTY2UJYhN — Public Health England (@PHE_uk) June 24, 2021 HCPC. Happy #BiomedicalScienceDay2021!. A huge thank you to the #HCPCRegistered Biomedical Scientists, Clinical Scientists and laboratory staff who have worked tirelessly throughout antabuse and are #AtTheHeartOfHealthcare in the #NHS and elsewhere ?.

?. pic.twitter.com/0NlVvV6gdk — HCPC (@The_HCPC) June 24, 2021 Care Quality Commission - 176.2K Followers Today is #BiomedicalScienceDay2021!. Thank you to the biomedical scientists, clinical scientists and lab staff behind every test. ?.

?. @IBMScience pic.twitter.com/H0zfexKuTb — Care Quality Commission - gov.uk/alcoholism (@CareQualityComm) June 24, 2021 Alzheimer Research UK - 83.1K Followers On #BiomedicalScienceDay2021 we want to say thank you to all the dementia researchers working tirelessly to find life-changing breakthroughs, that will transform the lives of people affected by dementia. We are committed to raising awareness &. Understanding of their vital work.

Pic.twitter.com/mxp8ZaoOn1 — AlzheimersResearchUK ?. ?. (@AlzResearchUK) June 24, 2021 We want to take this opportunity to thank all of our members who were involved in celebrating #BiomedicalScienceDay2021. It's wonderful to see the profession #AtTheHeartOfHealthcare rise up and show everybody the expertise and value of the people #BehindEveryTest.

We can't wait for next year!. As we bring a close to #BiomedicalScienceDay2021, we want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has taken part and celebrated the vital role of the UK's biomedical science workforce #AtTheHeartOfHealthcare. To view the gallery of images visit https://t.co/gh1NDCHgtJ pic.twitter.com/wdIKeXEBnb — IBMS #AtTheHeartOfHealthcare (@IBMScience) June 24, 202111 June 2021 As the profession gets ready to celebrate Biomedical Science Day, June's episode showcases the excellent achievements and inspiring work of three outstanding Biomedical Scientists. In the month we celebrate Biomedical Science Day, IBMS pod spoke to senior microbiologist and national member of IBMS council Zonya Jeffrey.

She tells us all about her 4-year placement on the ground in Tanzania fighting Malaria and HIV. She talks to us about 'Child Aid Tanzania' - a charity she co-founded after she returned. The wide-ranging interview also covered unusual outbreaks in her lab in Manchester, her goals on IBMS Council, a World Health Organisation (WHO) project in Sierra Leone and what she did as Science Exhibitor with the BBC. Later in a special LabLife, award-winning Husband and Wife Biomedical Scientist duo Akinola and Olubukola Adewunmi join Ella on LabLife.

They discuss their projects outside of the lab educating the public about Sickle Cell Disease and encouraging blood donations from BAME communities - for which they won a National BAME Health &. Care Award. Microbiology &. Overseas aid - with Zonya Jeffrey Zonya Jeffrey has a unique role as a senior microbiologist in a busy 24/7 laboratory at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.

It involves diagnostic bench work isolating, identifying and antibiotic susceptibility testing of bacteria and parasites, and training and development of students, trainees, and staff. We asked Zonya to tell us what a typical day looks like before moving on to some of the more unusual days!. Including one where she had to stay behind to manage an outbreak in a nursing home. Zonya also addressed Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) – i.e.

Does she come across s not treatable with regular antibiotics, and if so, how often?. Next, we moved on to her overseas projects working in labs in Tanzania and Sierra Leone. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported that Tanzania accounted for 5% of global deaths from Malaria in 2019 – which is approximately 20,500 deaths. Zonya spent four years in Tanzania as a laboratory technologist and Biomedical Scientist with the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO).

VSO sent her group to set up a new microbiology laboratory and train and staff in basic tests and techniques. Hoping to give something back to the community she had been part of, Zonya, her sister and her friend established the charity 'Child Aid Tanzania'. It aims to support mothers &. Their babies and children in families living in communities affected by HIV/AIDS and Malaria.

They provide anti-malaria bed nets and help fund child education. Zonya then told us about a WHO project in Sierra Leone she was involved with to combat Cholera. You'd be testing hundreds of slides a day for Malaria. Our thoughts were what can we do to help a community that we lived in for more than four years.

The first thing we did was to provide new mosquito bednets for new mothers at hospitals, children and the most vulnerable. We also provide education like fundraising for desks and school uniforms for primary school children. Zonya also discussed her IBMS council objectives, how the antabuse has impacted her lab in Manchester, work with the BBC, and finally faced our quick-fire round!. LabLife with Akinola and Olubukola Adewunmi We catch up with Akin and Olu Adewunmi, husband &.

Wife Biomedical Scientists at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Trust. The pair recently won the 2021 Health and Wellbeing Advocate award from the National BAME Health &. Care Awards for their exceptional work running their charity Path Lab Support, which is dedicated to educating the public about Sickle Cell Disease and encouraging blood donations from BAME communities. They talk to us about the experience and challenges of their charitable work and what it is like to be recognised with a national award.

I would advise my colleagues, biomedical scientists, to not limit our career skills to the four walls of the laboratory alone.

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The Biden drinking on antabuse side effects How to get amoxil Administration releases a 5-part plan to increase U.S. alcoholism treatment vaccinations, which includes additional funding to local government and support for the public health workforce Counties need strong intergovernmental partnerships in this unprecedented treatment roll out and stand ready to work with our state, federal and local government partners On January 15, President Biden and his administration unveiled the outline for a national alcoholism treatment vaccination strategy, which seeks to address challenges faced by local governments in distributing the treatment. This five-part plan outlines key actions that the Biden Administration will drinking on antabuse side effects work to take at the federal level to aid the efficient and equitable vaccination of U.S. Residents.

Such actions include. Increasing the number of vaccinations by encouraging states to open treatment availability to other priority groups and ensuring an equitable distribution by targeting resources drinking on antabuse side effects to hard-hit, marginalized, and medically underserved communities. Leveraging federal agency resources to create more local vaccination sites, through the development of mobile vaccination clinics that will reach underserved urban areas and rural communities. And the formation of partnerships with pharmacies and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).

Increasing the drinking on antabuse side effects supply of alcoholism treatments to be deployed as quickly as possible through the enactment of the Defense Production Act. Mobilizing additional personnel to get more shots in arms with a commitment to invest in 100,000 new public health workers that will work in their communities and provide treatment outreach and contact tracing services, as well as long term support to address ongoing threats to public health. Launching a public education campaign to improve treatment confidence in the general public. The announcement of this plan drinking on antabuse side effects followed the release of President Biden’s $2 trillion alcoholism rescue package, the American Rescue Plan, which proposed the addition of $20 billion in funds to state, local and tribal governments for treatment deployment.

The proposed funding would be in addition to the $8.75 billion in treatment distribution funds recently allocated by Congress in the latest alcoholism treatment funding package. The Biden Administration has taken immediate steps to enact these proposals in the first hours following the inauguration, however further action will need the support of Congress. Counties applaud both the introduction of the American Rescue Plan and the components of the national vaccination strategy, and we call on drinking on antabuse side effects Congress to implement this plan, which will provide needed resources and support for counties during this critical time. NACo will continue work in partnership with the Biden Administration and advocate for additional federal support for counties while also monitoring, tracking and reporting on alcoholism treatment development and distribution updates.

The Biden Get More Info Administration releases can you order antabuse online a 5-part plan to increase U.S. alcoholism treatment vaccinations, which includes additional funding to local government and support for the public health workforce Counties need strong intergovernmental partnerships in this unprecedented treatment roll out and stand ready to work with our state, federal and local government partners On January 15, President Biden and his administration unveiled the outline for a national alcoholism treatment vaccination strategy, which seeks to address challenges faced by local governments in distributing the treatment. This five-part plan outlines key actions that can you order antabuse online the Biden Administration will work to take at the federal level to aid the efficient and equitable vaccination of U.S. Residents.

Such actions include. Increasing can you order antabuse online the number of vaccinations by encouraging states to open treatment availability to other priority groups and ensuring an equitable distribution by targeting resources to hard-hit, marginalized, and medically underserved communities. Leveraging federal agency resources to create more local vaccination sites, through the development of mobile vaccination clinics that will reach underserved urban areas and rural communities. And the formation of partnerships with pharmacies and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).

Increasing the supply of alcoholism treatments can you order antabuse online to be deployed as quickly as possible through the enactment of the Defense Production Act. Mobilizing additional personnel to get more shots in arms with a commitment to invest in 100,000 new public health workers that will work in their communities and provide treatment outreach and contact tracing services, as well as long term support to address ongoing threats to public health. Launching a public education campaign to improve treatment confidence in the general public. The announcement of this plan followed the release of President Biden’s $2 trillion alcoholism rescue package, the American Rescue Plan, can you order antabuse online which proposed the addition of $20 billion in funds to state, local and tribal governments for treatment deployment.

The proposed funding would be in addition to the $8.75 billion in treatment distribution funds recently allocated by Congress in the latest alcoholism treatment funding package. The Biden Administration has taken immediate steps to enact these proposals in the first hours following the inauguration, however further action will need the support of Congress. Counties applaud both the introduction of the American Rescue Plan and the components of the national vaccination strategy, and we call on Congress to implement this plan, which can you order antabuse online will provide needed resources and support for counties during this critical time. NACo will continue work in partnership with the Biden Administration and advocate for additional federal support for counties while also monitoring, tracking and reporting on alcoholism treatment development and distribution updates.

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How to fake antabuse cite this article:Singh O you can check here P. Aftermath of celebrity suicide – Media coverage and role of psychiatrists. Indian J Psychiatry 2020;62:337-8Celebrity suicide fake antabuse is one of the highly publicized events in our country. Indians got a glimpse of this following an unfortunate incident where a popular Hindi film actor died of suicide.

As expected, the media went into a frenzy as newspapers, fake antabuse news channels, and social media were full of stories providing minute details of the suicidal act. Some even going as far as highlighting the color of the cloth used in the suicide as well as showing the lifeless body of the actor. All kinds of personal details were dug up, and speculations and hypotheses became the order of the day in the next few days that followed. In the fake antabuse process, reputations of many people associated with the actor were besmirched and their private and personal details were freely and blatantly broadcast and discussed on electronic, print, and social media.

We understand that media houses have their own need and duty to report and sensationalize news for increasing their visibility (aka TRP), but such reporting has huge impacts on the mental health of the vulnerable population.The impact of this was soon realized when many incidents of copycat suicide were reported from all over the country within a few days of the incident. Psychiatrists suddenly started getting fake antabuse distress calls from their patients in despair with increased suicidal ideation. This has become a major area of concern for the psychiatry community.The Indian Psychiatric Society has been consistently trying to engage with media to promote ethical reporting of suicide. Section 24 (1) of Mental Health Care fake antabuse Act, 2017, forbids publication of photograph of mentally ill person without his consent.[1] The Press Council of India has adopted the guidelines of World Health Organization report on Preventing Suicide.

A resource for media professionals, which came out with an advisory to be followed by media in reporting cases of suicide. It includes points forbidding them from putting stories in prominent positions and unduly repeating them, explicitly describing the method used, providing details about the site/location, using sensational headlines, or using photographs and video footage of the incident.[2] Unfortunately, the advisory seems to have little effect in the aftermath of celebrity suicides. Channels were full of speculations about the person's mental condition and illness fake antabuse and also his relationships and finances. Many fictional accounts of his symptoms and illness were touted, which is not only against the ethics but is also contrary to MHCA, 2017.[1]It went to the extent that the name of his psychiatrist was mentioned and quotes were attributed to him without taking any account from him.

The Indian Psychiatric Society has written to the Press Council of India underlining this concern and asking for measures to ensure ethics in reporting suicide.While there is a need for engagement with media to make them aware of the grave impact of negative suicide reporting fake antabuse on the lives of many vulnerable persons, there is even a more urgent need for training of psychiatrists regarding the proper way of interaction with media. This has been amply brought out in the aftermath of this incident. Many psychiatrists and mental health professionals were fake antabuse called by media houses to comment on the episode. Many psychiatrists were quoted, or “misquoted,” or “quoted out of context,” commenting on the life of a person whom they had never examined and had no “professional authority” to do so.

There were even stories with byline of a psychiatrist where the content provided was not only unscientific but also way beyond the expertise of a psychiatrist. These types of viewpoints perpetuate stigma, fake antabuse myths, and “misleading concepts” about psychiatry and are detrimental to the image of psychiatry in addition to doing harm and injustice to our patients. Hence, the need to formulate a guideline for interaction of psychiatrists with the media is imperative.In the infamous Goldwater episode, 12,356 psychiatrists were asked to cast opinion about the fitness of Barry Goldwater for presidential candidature. Out of 2417 respondents, 1189 psychiatrists reported him to be mentally unfit while none had actually examined him.[3] This led to the formulation of “The Goldwater Rule” by the American Psychiatric Association in 1973,[4] but we have witnessed the same phenomenon at the time of presidential candidature of Donald Trump.Psychiatrists should be encouraged to interact with media fake antabuse to provide scientific information about mental illnesses and reduction of stigma, but “statements to the media” can be a double-edged sword, and we should know about the rules of engagements and boundaries of interactions.

Methods and principles of interaction with media should form a part of our training curriculum. Many professional societies have guidelines and fake antabuse resource books for interacting with media, and psychiatrists should familiarize themselves with these documents. The Press Council guideline is likely to prompt reporters to seek psychiatrists for their expert opinion. It is useful for them to have a template ready with suicide rates, emphasizing multicausality of suicide, role of mental disorders, as well as help available.[5]It is about time that the Indian Psychiatric Society formulated its own guidelines laying down the broad principles and boundaries governing the interaction of Indian psychiatrists with the media.

Till then, it is desirable to be guided by the following broad principles:It should be assumed that no statement goes “off the record” as the media person is most likely recording the interview, and we should also record any such conversation from our endIt should be clarified in which capacity comments are being made – professional, personal, or as a representative of an organizationOne should not fake antabuse comment on any person whom he has not examinedPsychiatrists should take any such opportunity to educate the public about mental health issuesThe comments should be justified and limited by the boundaries of scientific knowledge available at the moment. References Correspondence Address:Dr. O P SinghAA 304, Ashabari Apartments, O/31, Baishnabghata, Patuli Township, Kolkata - 700 094, West Bengal IndiaSource fake antabuse of Support. None, Conflict of Interest.

NoneDOI. 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_816_20Abstract Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an effective modality of treatment for a variety of psychiatric disorders. However, it has always been accused of being a coercive, unethical, and dangerous modality of treatment. The dangerousness of ECT has been mainly attributed to its claimed ability to cause brain damage.

This narrative review aims to provide an update of the evidence with regard to whether the practice of ECT is associated with damage to the brain. An accepted definition of brain damage remains elusive. There are also ethical and technical problems in designing studies that look at this question specifically. Thus, even though there are newer technological tools and innovations, any review attempting to answer this question would have to take recourse to indirect methods.

These include structural, functional, and metabolic neuroimaging. Body fluid biochemical marker studies. And follow-up studies of cognitive impairment and incidence of dementia in people who have received ECT among others. The review of literature and present evidence suggests that ECT has a demonstrable impact on the structure and function of the brain.

However, there is a lack of evidence at present to suggest that ECT causes brain damage.Keywords. Adverse effect, brain damage, electroconvulsive therapyHow to cite this article:Jolly AJ, Singh SM. Does electroconvulsive therapy cause brain damage. An update.

Indian J Psychiatry 2020;62:339-53 Introduction Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) as a modality of treatment for psychiatric disorders has existed at least since 1938.[1] ECT is an effective modality of treatment for various psychiatric disorders. However, from the very beginning, the practice of ECT has also faced resistance from various groups who claim that it is coercive and harmful.[2] While the ethical aspects of the practice of ECT have been dealt with elsewhere, the question of harmfulness or brain damage consequent upon the passage of electric current needs to be examined afresh in light of technological advances and new knowledge.[3]The question whether ECT causes brain damage was reviewed in a holistic fashion by Devanand et al. In the mid-1990s.[4],[5] The authors had attempted to answer this question by reviewing the effect of ECT on the brain in various areas – cognitive side effects, structural neuroimaging studies, neuropathologic studies of patients who had received ECT, autopsy studies of epileptic patients, and finally animal ECS studies. The authors had concluded that ECT does not produce brain damage.This narrative review aims to update the evidence with regard to whether ECT causes brain damage by reviewing relevant literature from 1994 to the present time.

Framing the Question The Oxford Dictionary defines damage as physical harm that impairs the value, usefulness, or normal function of something.[6] Among medical dictionaries, the Peter Collins Dictionary defines damage as harm done to things (noun) or to harm something (verb).[7] Brain damage is defined by the British Medical Association Medical Dictionary as degeneration or death of nerve cells and tracts within the brain that may be localized to a particular area of the brain or diffuse.[8] Going by such a definition, brain damage in the context of ECT should refer to death or degeneration of brain tissue, which results in the impairment of functioning of the brain. The importance of precisely defining brain damage shall become evident subsequently in this review.There are now many more tools available to investigate the structure and function of brain in health and illness. However, there are obvious ethical issues in designing human studies that are designed to answer this specific question. Therefore, one must necessarily take recourse to indirect evidences available through studies that have been designed to answer other research questions.

These studies have employed the following methods:Structural neuroimaging studiesFunctional neuroimaging studiesMetabolic neuroimaging studiesBody fluid biochemical marker studiesCognitive impairment studies.While the early studies tended to focus more on establishing the safety of ECT and finding out whether ECT causes gross microscopic brain damage, the later studies especially since the advent of advanced neuroimaging techniques have been focusing more on a mechanistic understanding of ECT. Hence, the primary objective of the later neuroimaging studies has been to look for structural and functional brain changes which might explain how ECT acts rather than evidence of gross structural damage per se. However, put together, all these studies would enable us to answer our titular question to some satisfaction. [Table 1] and [Table 2] provide an overview of the evidence base in this area.

Structural and Functional Neuroimaging Studies Devanand et al. Reviewed 16 structural neuroimaging studies on the effect of ECT on the brain.[4] Of these, two were pneumoencephalography studies, nine were computed tomography (CT) scan studies, and five were magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies. However, most of these studies were retrospective in design, with neuroimaging being done in patients who had received ECT in the past. In the absence of baseline neuroimaging, it would be very difficult to attribute any structural brain changes to ECT.

In addition, pneumoencephalography, CT scan, and even early 0.3 T MRI provided images with much lower spatial resolution than what is available today. The authors concluded that there was no evidence to show that ECT caused any structural damage to the brain.[4] Since then, at least twenty more MRI-based structural neuroimaging studies have studied the effect of ECT on the brain. The earliest MRI studies in the early 1990s focused on detecting structural damage following ECT. All of these studies were prospective in design, with the first MRI scan done at baseline and a second MRI scan performed post ECT.[9],[11],[12],[13],[41] While most of the studies imaged the patient once around 24 h after receiving ECT, some studies performed multiple post ECT neuroimaging in the first 24 h after ECT to better capture the acute changes.

A single study by Coffey et al. Followed up the patients for a duration of 6 months and repeated neuroimaging again at 6 months in order to capture any long-term changes following ECT.[10]The most important conclusion which emerged from this early series of studies was that there was no evidence of cortical atrophy, change in ventricle size, or increase in white matter hyperintensities.[4] The next major conclusion was that there appeared to be an increase in the T1 and T2 relaxation time immediately following ECT, which returned to normal within 24 h. This supported the theory that immediately following ECT, there appears to be a temporary breakdown of the blood–brain barrier, leading to water influx into the brain tissue.[11] The last significant observation by Coffey et al. In 1991 was that there was no significant temporal changes in the total volumes of the frontal lobes, temporal lobes, or amygdala–hippocampal complex.[10] This was, however, something which would later be refuted by high-resolution MRI studies.

Nonetheless, one inescapable conclusion of these early studies was that there was no evidence of any gross structural brain changes following administration of ECT. Much later in 2007, Szabo et al. Used diffusion-weighted MRI to image patients in the immediate post ECT period and failed to observe any obvious brain tissue changes following ECT.[17]The next major breakthrough came in 2010 when Nordanskog et al. Demonstrated that there was a significant increase in the volume of the hippocampus bilaterally following a course of ECT in a cohort of patients with depressive illness.[18] This contradicted the earlier observations by Coffey et al.

That there was no volume increase in any part of the brain following ECT.[10] This was quite an exciting finding and was followed by several similar studies. However, the perspective of these studies was quite different from the early studies. In contrast to the early studies looking for the evidence of ECT-related brain damage, the newer studies were focused more on elucidating the mechanism of action of ECT. Further on in 2014, Nordanskog et al.

In a follow-up study showed that though there was a significant increase in the volume of the hippocampus 1 week after a course of ECT, the hippocampal volume returned to the baseline after 6 months.[19] Two other studies in 2013 showed that in addition to the hippocampus, the amygdala also showed significant volume increase following ECT.[20],[21] A series of structural neuroimaging studies after that have expanded on these findings and as of now, gray matter volume increase following ECT has been demonstrated in the hippocampus, amygdala, anterior temporal pole, subgenual cortex,[21] right caudate nucleus, and the whole of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) consisting of the hippocampus, amygdala, insula, and the posterosuperior temporal cortex,[24] para hippocampi, right subgenual anterior cingulate gyrus, and right anterior cingulate gyrus,[25] left cerebellar area VIIa crus I,[29] putamen, caudate nucleus, and nucleus acumbens [31] and clusters of increased cortical thickness involving the temporal pole, middle and superior temporal cortex, insula, and inferior temporal cortex.[27] However, the most consistently reported and replicated finding has been the bilateral increase in the volume of the hippocampus and amygdala. In light of these findings, it has been tentatively suggested that ECT acts by inducing neuronal regeneration in the hippocampus – amygdala complex.[42],[43] However, there are certain inconsistencies to this hypothesis. Till date, only one study – Nordanskog et al., 2014 – has followed study patients for a long term – 6 months in their case. And significantly, the authors found out that after increasing immediately following ECT, the hippocampal volume returns back to baseline by 6 months.[19] This, however, was not associated with the relapse of depressive symptoms.

Another area of significant confusion has been the correlation of hippocampal volume increase with improvement of depressive symptoms. Though almost all studies demonstrate a significant increase in hippocampal volume following ECT, a majority of studies failed to demonstrate a correlation between symptom improvement and hippocampal volume increase.[19],[20],[22],[24],[28] However, a significant minority of volumetric studies have demonstrated correlation between increase in hippocampal and/or amygdala volume and improvement of symptoms.[21],[25],[30]Another set of studies have used diffusion tensor imaging, functional MRI (fMRI), anatomical connectome, and structural network analysis to study the effect of ECT on the brain. The first of these studies by Abbott et al. In 2014 demonstrated that on fMRI, the connectivity between right and left hippocampus was significantly reduced in patients with severe depression.

It was also shown that the connectivity was normalized following ECT, and symptom improvement was correlated with an increase in connectivity.[22] In a first of its kind DTI study, Lyden et al. In 2014 demonstrated that fractional anisotropy which is a measure of white matter tract or fiber density is increased post ECT in patients with severe depression in the anterior cingulum, forceps minor, and the dorsal aspect of the left superior longitudinal fasciculus. The authors suggested that ECT acts to normalize major depressive disorder-related abnormalities in the structural connectivity of the dorsal fronto-limbic pathways.[23] Another DTI study in 2015 constructed large-scale anatomical networks of the human brain – connectomes, based on white matter fiber tractography. The authors found significant reorganization in the anatomical connections involving the limbic structure, temporal lobe, and frontal lobe.

It was also found that connection changes between amygdala and para hippocampus correlated with reduction in depressive symptoms.[26] In 2016, Wolf et al. Used a source-based morphometry approach to study the structural networks in patients with depression and schizophrenia and the effect of ECT on the same. It was found that the medial prefrontal cortex/anterior cingulate cortex (ACC/MPFC) network, MTL network, bilateral thalamus, and left cerebellar regions/precuneus exhibited significant difference between healthy controls and the patient population. It was also demonstrated that administration of ECT leads to significant increase in the network strength of the ACC/MPFC network and the MTL network though the increase in network strength and symptom amelioration were not correlated.[32]Building on these studies, a recently published meta-analysis has attempted a quantitative synthesis of brain volume changes – focusing on hippocampal volume increase following ECT in patients with major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder.

The authors initially selected 32 original articles from which six articles met the criteria for quantitative synthesis. The results showed significant increase in the volume of the right and left hippocampus following ECT. For the rest of the brain regions, the heterogeneity in protocols and imaging techniques did not permit a quantitative analysis, and the authors have resorted to a narrative review similar to the present one with similar conclusions.[44] Focusing exclusively on hippocampal volume change in ECT, Oltedal et al. In 2018 conducted a mega-analysis of 281 patients with major depressive disorder treated with ECT enrolled at ten different global sites of the Global ECT-MRI Research Collaboration.[45] Similar to previous studies, there was a significant increase in hippocampal volume bilaterally with a dose–response relationship with the number of ECTs administered.

Furthermore, bilateral (B/L) ECT was associated with an equal increase in volume in both right and left hippocampus, whereas right unilateral ECT was associated with greater volume increase in the right hippocampus. Finally, contrary to expectation, clinical improvement was found to be negatively correlated with hippocampal volume.Thus, a review of the current evidence amply demonstrates that from looking for ECT-related brain damage – and finding none, we have now moved ahead to looking for a mechanistic understanding of the effect of ECT. In this regard, it has been found that ECT does induce structural changes in the brain – a fact which has been seized upon by some to claim that ECT causes brain damage.[46] Such statements should, however, be weighed against the definition of damage as understood by the scientific medical community and patient population. Neuroanatomical changes associated with effective ECT can be better described as ECT-induced brain neuroplasticity or ECT-induced brain neuromodulation rather than ECT-induced brain damage.

Metabolic Neuroimaging Studies. Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging Magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) uses a phase-encoding procedure to map the spatial distribution of magnetic resonance (MR) signals of different molecules. The crucial difference, however, is that while MRI maps the MR signals of water molecules, MRSI maps the MR signals generated by different metabolites – such as N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) and choline-containing compounds. However, the concentration of these metabolites is at least 10,000 times lower than water molecules and hence the signal strength generated would also be correspondingly lower.

However, MRSI offers us the unique advantage of studying in vivo the change in the concentration of brain metabolites, which has been of great significance in fields such as psychiatry, neurology, and basic neuroscience research.[47]MRSI studies on ECT in patients with depression have focused largely on four metabolites in the human brain – NAA, choline-containing compounds (Cho) which include majorly cell membrane compounds such as glycerophosphocholine, phosphocholine and a miniscule contribution from acetylcholine, creatinine (Cr) and glutamine and glutamate together (Glx). NAA is located exclusively in the neurons, and is suggested to be a marker of neuronal viability and functionality.[48] Choline-containing compounds (Cho) mainly include the membrane compounds, and an increase in Cho would be suggestive of increased membrane turnover. Cr serves as a marker of cellular energy metabolism, and its levels are usually expected to remain stable. The regions which have been most widely studied in MRSI studies include the bilateral hippocampus and amygdala, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and ACC.Till date, five MRSI studies have measured NAA concentration in the hippocampus before and after ECT.

Of these, three studies showed that there is no significant change in the NAA concentration in the hippocampus following ECT.[33],[38],[49] On the other hand, two recent studies have demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in NAA concentration in the hippocampus following ECT.[39],[40] The implications of these results are of significant interest to us in answering our titular question. A normal level of NAA following ECT could signify that there is no significant neuronal death or damage following ECT, while a reduction would signal the opposite. However, a direct comparison between these studies is complicated chiefly due to the different ECT protocols, which has been used in these studies. It must, however, be acknowledged that the three older studies used 1.5 T MRI, whereas the two newer studies used a higher 3 T MRI which offers betters signal-to-noise ratio and hence lesser risk of errors in the measurement of metabolite concentrations.

The authors of a study by Njau et al.[39] argue that a change in NAA levels might reflect reversible changes in neural metabolism rather than a permanent change in the number or density of neurons and also that reduced NAA might point to a change in the ratio of mature to immature neurons, which, in fact, might reflect enhanced adult neurogenesis. Thus, the authors warn that to conclude whether a reduction in NAA concentration is beneficial or harmful would take a simultaneous measurement of cognitive functioning, which was lacking in their study. In 2017, Cano et al. Also demonstrated a significant reduction in NAA/Cr ratio in the hippocampus post ECT.

More significantly, the authors also showed a significant increase in Glx levels in the hippocampus following ECT, which was also associated with an increase in hippocampal volume.[40] To explain these three findings, the authors proposed that ECT produces a neuroinflammatory response in the hippocampus – likely mediated by Glx, which has been known to cause inflammation at higher concentrations, thereby accounting for the increase in hippocampal volume with a reduction in NAA concentration. The cause for the volume increase remains unclear – with the authors speculating that it might be due to neuronal swelling or due to angiogenesis. However, the same study and multiple other past studies [21],[25],[30] have demonstrated that hippocampal volume increase was correlated with clinical improvement following ECT. Thus, we are led to the hypothesis that the same mechanism which drives clinical improvement with ECT is also responsible for the cognitive impairment following ECT.

Whether this is a purely neuroinflammatory response or a neuroplastic response or a neuroinflammatory response leading to some form of neuroplasticity is a critical question, which remains to be answered.[40]Studies which have analyzed NAA concentration change in other brain areas have also produced conflicting results. The ACC is another area which has been studied in some detail utilizing the MRSI technique. In 2003, Pfleiderer et al. Demonstrated that there was no significant change in the NAA and Cho levels in the ACC following ECT.

This would seem to suggest that there was no neurogenesis or membrane turnover in the ACC post ECT.[36] However, this finding was contested by Merkl et al. In 2011, who demonstrated that NAA levels were significantly reduced in the left ACC in patients with depression and that these levels were significantly elevated following ECT.[37] This again is contested by Njau et al. Who showed that NAA levels are significantly reduced following ECT in the left dorsal ACC.[39] A direct comparison of these three studies is complicated by the different ECT and imaging parameters used and hence, no firm conclusion can be made on this point at this stage. In addition to this, one study had demonstrated increased NAA levels in the amygdala following administration of ECT,[34] with a trend level increase in Cho levels, which again is suggestive of neurogenesis and/or neuroplasticity.

A review of studies on the DLPFC reveals a similarly confusing picture with one study, each showing no change, reduction, and elevation of concentration of NAA following ECT.[35],[37],[39] Here, again, a direct comparison of the three studies is made difficult by the heterogeneous imaging and ECT protocols followed by them.A total of five studies have analyzed the concentration of choline-containing compounds (Cho) in patients undergoing ECT. Conceptually, an increase in Cho signals is indicative of increased membrane turnover, which is postulated to be associated with synaptogenesis, neurogenesis, and maturation of neurons.[31] Of these, two studies measured Cho concentration in the B/L hippocampus, with contrasting results. Ende et al. In 2000 demonstrated a significant elevation in Cho levels in B/L hippocampus after ECT, while Jorgensen et al.

In 2015 failed to replicate the same finding.[33],[38] Cho levels have also been studied in the amygdala, ACC, and the DLPFC. However, none of these studies showed a significant increase or decrease in Cho levels before and after ECT in the respective brain regions studied. In addition, no significant difference was seen in the pre-ECT Cho levels of patients compared to healthy controls.[34],[36],[37]In review, we must admit that MRSI studies are still at a preliminary stage with significant heterogeneity in ECT protocols, patient population, and regions of the brain studied. At this stage, it is difficult to draw any firm conclusions except to acknowledge the fact that the more recent studies – Njau et al., 2017, Cano, 2017, and Jorgensen et al., 2015 – have shown decrease in NAA concentration and no increase in Cho levels [38],[39],[40] – as opposed to the earlier studies by Ende et al.[33] The view offered by the more recent studies is one of a neuroinflammatory models of action of ECT, probably driving neuroplasticity in the hippocampus.

This would offer a mechanistic understanding of both clinical response and the phenomenon of cognitive impairment associated with ECT. However, this conclusion is based on conjecture, and more work needs to be done in this area. Body Fluid Biochemical Marker Studies Another line of evidence for analyzing the effect of ECT on the human brain is the study of concentration of neurotrophins in the plasma or serum. Neurotrophins are small protein molecules which mediate neuronal survival and development.

The most prominent among these is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which plays an important role in neuronal survival, plasticity, and migration.[50] A neurotrophic theory of mood disorders was suggested which hypothesized that depressive disorders are associated with a decreased expression of BDNF in the limbic structures, resulting in the atrophy of these structures.[51] It was also postulated that antidepressant treatment has a neurotrophic effect which reverses the neuronal cell loss, thereby producing a therapeutic effect. It has been well established that BDNF is decreased in mood disorders.[52] It has also been shown that clinical improvement of depression is associated with increase in BDNF levels.[53] Thus, serum BDNF levels have been tentatively proposed as a biomarker for treatment response in depression. Recent meta-analytic evidence has shown that ECT is associated with significant increase in serum BDNF levels in patients with major depressive disorder.[54] Considering that BDNF is a potent stimulator of neurogenesis, the elevation of serum BDNF levels following ECT lends further credence to the theory that ECT leads to neurogenesis in the hippocampus and other limbic structures, which, in turn, mediates the therapeutic action of ECT. Cognitive Impairment Studies Cognitive impairment has always been the single-most important side effect associated with ECT.[55] Concerns regarding long-term cognitive impairment surfaced soon after the introduction of ECT and since then has grown to become one of the most controversial aspects of ECT.[56] Anti-ECT groups have frequently pointed out to cognitive impairment following ECT as evidence of ECT causing brain damage.[56] A meta-analysis by Semkovska and McLoughlin in 2010 is one of the most detailed studies which had attempted to settle this long-standing debate.[57] The authors reviewed 84 studies (2981 participants), which had used a combined total of 22 standardized neuropsychological tests assessing various cognitive functions before and after ECT in patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder.

The different cognitive domains reviewed included processing speed, attention/working memory, verbal episodic memory, visual episodic memory, spatial problem-solving, executive functioning, and intellectual ability. The authors concluded that administration of ECT for depression is associated with significant cognitive impairment in the first few days after ECT administration. However, it was also seen that impairment in cognitive functioning resolved within a span of 2 weeks and thereafter, a majority of cognitive domains even showed mild improvement compared to the baseline performance. It was also demonstrated that not a single cognitive domain showed persistence of impairment beyond 15 days after ECT.Memory impairment following ECT can be analyzed broadly under two conceptual schemes – one that classifies memory impairment as objective memory impairment and subjective memory impairment and the other that classifies it as impairment in anterograde memory versus impairment in retrograde memory.

Objective memory can be roughly defined as the ability to retrieve stored information and can be measured by various standardized neuropsychological tests. Subjective memory or meta-memory, on the other hand, refers to the ability to make judgments about one's ability to retrieve stored information.[58] As described previously, it has been conclusively demonstrated that anterograde memory impairment does not persist beyond 2 weeks after ECT.[57] However, one of the major limitations of this meta-analysis was the lack of evidence on retrograde amnesia following ECT. This is particularly unfortunate considering that it is memory impairment – particularly retrograde amnesia which has received the most attention.[59] In addition, reports of catastrophic retrograde amnesia have been repeatedly held up as sensational evidence of the lasting brain damage produced by ECT.[59] Admittedly, studies on retrograde amnesia are fewer and less conclusive than on anterograde amnesia.[60],[61] At present, the results are conflicting, with some studies finding some impairment in retrograde memory – particularly autobiographical retrograde memory up to 6 months after ECT.[62],[63],[64],[65] However, more recent studies have failed to support this finding.[66],[67] While they do demonstrate an impairment in retrograde memory immediately after ECT, it was seen that this deficit returned to pre-ECT levels within a span of 1–2 months and improved beyond baseline performance at 6 months post ECT.[66] Adding to the confusion are numerous factors which confound the assessment of retrograde amnesia. It has been shown that depressive symptoms can produce significant impairment of retrograde memory.[68],[69] It has also been demonstrated that sine-wave ECT produces significantly more impairment of retrograde memory as compared to brief-pulse ECT.[70] However, from the 1990s onward, sine-wave ECT has been completely replaced by brief-pulse ECT, and it is unclear as to the implications of cognitive impairment from the sine-wave era in contemporary ECT practice.Another area of concern are reports of subjective memory impairment following ECT.

One of the pioneers of research into subjective memory impairment were Squire and Chace who published a series of studies in the 1970s demonstrating the adverse effect of bilateral ECT on subjective assessment of memory.[62],[63],[64],[65] However, most of the studies conducted post 1980 – from when sine-wave ECT was replaced by brief-pulse ECT report a general improvement in subjective memory assessments following ECT.[71] In addition, most of the recent studies have failed to find a significant association between measures of subjective and objective memory.[63],[66],[70],[72],[73],[74] It has also been shown that subjective memory impairment is strongly associated with the severity of depressive symptoms.[75] In light of these facts, the validity and value of measures of subjective memory impairment as a marker of cognitive impairment and brain damage following ECT have been questioned. However, concerns regarding subjective memory impairment and catastrophic retrograde amnesia continue to persist, with significant dissonance between the findings of different research groups and patient self-reports in various media.[57]Some studies reported the possibility of ECT being associated with the development of subsequent dementia.[76],[77] However, a recent large, well-controlled prospective Danish study found that the use of ECT was not associated with elevated incidence of dementia.[78] Conclusion Our titular question is whether ECT leads to brain damage, where damage indicates destruction or degeneration of nerves or nerve tracts in the brain, which leads to loss of function. This issue was last addressed by Devanand et al. In 1994 since which time our understanding of ECT has grown substantially, helped particularly by the advent of modern-day neuroimaging techniques which we have reviewed in detail.

And, what these studies reveal is rather than damaging the brain, ECT has a neuromodulatory effect on the brain. The various lines of evidence – structural neuroimaging studies, functional neuroimaging studies, neurochemical and metabolic studies, and serum BDNF studies all point toward this. These neuromodulatory changes have been localized to the hippocampus, amygdala, and certain other parts of the limbic system. How exactly these changes mediate the improvement of depressive symptoms is a question that remains unanswered.

However, there is little by way of evidence from neuroimaging studies which indicates that ECT causes destruction or degeneration of neurons. Though cognitive impairment studies do show that there is objective impairment of certain functions – particularly memory immediately after ECT, these impairments are transient with full recovery within a span of 2 weeks. Perhaps, the single-most important unaddressed concern is retrograde amnesia, which has been shown to persist for up to 2 months post ECT. In this regard, the recent neurometabolic studies have offered a tentative mechanism of action of ECT, producing a transient inflammation in the limbic cortex, which, in turn, drives neurogenesis, thereby exerting a neuromodulatory effect.

This hypothesis would explain both the cognitive adverse effects of ECT – due to the transient inflammation – and the long-term improvement in mood – neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Although unproven at present, such a hypothesis would imply that cognitive impairment is tied in with the mechanism of action of ECT and not an indicator of damage to the brain produced by ECT.The review of literature suggests that ECT does cause at least structural and functional changes in the brain, and these are in all probability related to the effects of the ECT. However, these cannot be construed as brain damage as is usually understood. Due to the relative scarcity of data that directly examines the question of whether ECT causes brain damage, it is not possible to conclusively answer this question.

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Memory and verbal learning. Annu Rev Psychol 1970;21:437-84. 59.Rose D, Fleischmann P, Wykes T, Leese M, Bindman J. Patients' perspectives on electroconvulsive therapy.

Systematic review. BMJ 2003;326:1363. 60.Semkovska M, McLoughlin DM. Measuring retrograde autobiographical amnesia following electroconvulsive therapy.

Historical perspective and current issues. J ECT 2013;29:127-33. 61.Fraser LM, O'Carroll RE, Ebmeier KP. The effect of electroconvulsive therapy on autobiographical memory.

A systematic review. J ECT 2008;24:10-7. 62.Squire LR, Chace PM. Memory functions six to nine months after electroconvulsive therapy.

Arch Gen Psychiatry 1975;32:1557-64. 63.Squire LR, Slater PC. Electroconvulsive therapy and complaints of memory dysfunction. A prospective three-year follow-up study.

Br J Psychiatry 1983;142:1-8. 64.Squire LR, Slater PC, Miller PL. Retrograde amnesia and bilateral electroconvulsive therapy. Long-term follow-up.

Arch Gen Psychiatry 1981;38:89-95. 65.Squire LR, Wetzel CD, Slater PC. Memory complaint after electroconvulsive therapy. Assessment with a new self-rating instrument.

Biol Psychiatry 1979;14:791-801. 66.Calev A, Nigal D, Shapira B, Tubi N, Chazan S, Ben-Yehuda Y, et al. Early and long-term effects of electroconvulsive therapy and depression on memory and other cognitive functions. J Nerv Ment Dis 1991;179:526-33.

67.Sackeim HA, Prudic J, Devanand DP, Nobler MS, Lisanby SH, Peyser S, et al. A prospective, randomized, double-blind comparison of bilateral and right unilateral electroconvulsive therapy at different stimulus intensities. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2000;57:425-34. 68.Abrams R.

Does brief-pulse ECT cause persistent or permanent memory impairment?. J ECT 2002;18:71-3. 69.Peretti CS, Danion JM, Grangé D, Mobarek N. Bilateral ECT and autobiographical memory of subjective experiences related to melancholia.

A pilot study. J Affect Disord 1996;41:9-15. 70.Weiner RD, Rogers HJ, Davidson JR, Squire LR. Effects of stimulus parameters on cognitive side effects.

Ann N Y Acad Sci 1986;462:315-25. 71.Prudic J, Peyser S, Sackeim HA. Subjective memory complaints. A review of patient self-assessment of memory after electroconvulsive therapy.

J ECT 2000;16:121-32. 72.Sackeim HA, Prudic J, Devanand DP, Kiersky JE, Fitzsimons L, Moody BJ, et al. Effects of stimulus intensity and electrode placement on the efficacy and cognitive effects of electroconvulsive therapy. N Engl J Med 1993;328:839-46.

73.Frith CD, Stevens M, Johnstone EC, Deakin JF, Lawler P, Crow TJ. Effects of ECT and depression on various aspects of memory. Br J Psychiatry 1983;142:610-7. 74.Ng C, Schweitzer I, Alexopoulos P, Celi E, Wong L, Tuckwell V, et al.

Efficacy and cognitive effects of right unilateral electroconvulsive therapy. J ECT 2000;16:370-9. 75.Coleman EA, Sackeim HA, Prudic J, Devanand DP, McElhiney MC, Moody BJ. Subjective memory complaints prior to and following electroconvulsive therapy.

Biol Psychiatry 1996;39:346-56. 76.Berggren Š, Gustafson L, Höglund P, Johanson A. A long-term longitudinal follow-up of depressed patients treated with ECT with special focus on development of dementia. J Affect Disord 2016;200:15-24.

77.Brodaty H, Hickie I, Mason C, Prenter L. A prospective follow-up study of ECT outcome in older depressed patients. J Affect Disord 2000;60:101-11. 78.Osler M, Rozing MP, Christensen GT, Andersen PK, Jørgensen MB.

Electroconvulsive therapy and risk of dementia in patients with affective disorders. A cohort study. Lancet Psychiatry 2018;5:348-56. Correspondence Address:Dr.

Shubh Mohan SinghDepartment of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh IndiaSource of Support. None, Conflict of Interest. NoneDOI. 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_239_19 Tables [Table 1], [Table 2].

How to can you order antabuse online cite this article:Singh O P. Aftermath of celebrity suicide – Media coverage and role of psychiatrists. Indian J Psychiatry 2020;62:337-8Celebrity suicide is one can you order antabuse online of the highly publicized events in our country.

Indians got a glimpse of this following an unfortunate incident where a popular Hindi film actor died of suicide. As expected, the media can you order antabuse online went into a frenzy as newspapers, news channels, and social media were full of stories providing minute details of the suicidal act. Some even going as far as highlighting the color of the cloth used in the suicide as well as showing the lifeless body of the actor.

All kinds of personal details were dug up, and speculations and hypotheses became the order of the day in the next few days that followed. In the process, reputations of many people associated with can you order antabuse online the actor were besmirched and their private and personal details were freely and blatantly broadcast and discussed on electronic, print, and social media. We understand that media houses have their own need and duty to report and sensationalize news for increasing their visibility (aka TRP), but such reporting has huge impacts on the mental health of the vulnerable population.The impact of this was soon realized when many incidents of copycat suicide were reported from all over the country within a few days of the incident.

Psychiatrists suddenly started getting distress calls can you order antabuse online from their patients in despair with increased suicidal ideation. This has become a major area of concern for the psychiatry community.The Indian Psychiatric Society has been consistently trying to engage with media to promote ethical reporting of suicide. Section 24 (1) of Mental Health Care Act, 2017, forbids publication of photograph of mentally ill person can you order antabuse online without his consent.[1] The Press Council of India has adopted the guidelines of World Health Organization report on Preventing Suicide.

A resource for media professionals, which came out with an advisory to be followed by media in reporting cases of suicide. It includes points forbidding them from putting stories in prominent positions and unduly repeating them, explicitly describing the method used, providing details about the site/location, using sensational headlines, or using photographs and video footage of the incident.[2] Unfortunately, the advisory seems to have little effect in the aftermath of celebrity suicides. Channels were full of speculations can you order antabuse online about the person's mental condition and illness and also his relationships and finances.

Many fictional accounts of his symptoms and illness were touted, which is not only against the ethics but is also contrary to MHCA, 2017.[1]It went to the extent that the name of his psychiatrist was mentioned and quotes were attributed to him without taking any account from him. The Indian Psychiatric Society has written to the Press Council of India underlining this concern and asking for measures to ensure ethics in reporting suicide.While there is a need for engagement with media to make them aware can you order antabuse online of the grave impact of negative suicide reporting on the lives of many vulnerable persons, there is even a more urgent need for training of psychiatrists regarding the proper way of interaction with media. This has been amply brought out in the aftermath of this incident.

Many psychiatrists and mental health professionals were called by media houses can you order antabuse online to comment on the episode. Many psychiatrists were quoted, or “misquoted,” or “quoted out of context,” commenting on the life of a person whom they had never examined and had no “professional authority” to do so. There were even stories with byline of a psychiatrist where the content provided was not only unscientific but also way beyond the expertise of a psychiatrist.

These types of viewpoints perpetuate stigma, myths, and “misleading concepts” about can you order antabuse online psychiatry and are detrimental to the image of psychiatry in addition to doing harm and injustice to our patients. Hence, the need to formulate a guideline for interaction of psychiatrists with the media is imperative.In the infamous Goldwater episode, 12,356 psychiatrists were asked to cast opinion about the fitness of Barry Goldwater for presidential candidature. Out of 2417 respondents, 1189 psychiatrists reported him to be mentally unfit while none had actually examined him.[3] This led to the formulation of “The Goldwater Rule” by the American Psychiatric Association in 1973,[4] but we have witnessed the same phenomenon at can you order antabuse online the time of presidential candidature of Donald Trump.Psychiatrists should be encouraged to interact with media to provide scientific information about mental illnesses and reduction of stigma, but “statements to the media” can be a double-edged sword, and we should know about the rules of engagements and boundaries of interactions.

Methods and principles of interaction with media should form a part of our training curriculum. Many professional societies have guidelines and resource books can you order antabuse online for interacting with media, and psychiatrists should familiarize themselves with these documents. The Press Council guideline is likely to prompt reporters to seek psychiatrists for their expert opinion.

It is useful for them to have a template ready with suicide rates, emphasizing multicausality of suicide, role of mental disorders, as well as help available.[5]It is about time that the Indian Psychiatric Society formulated its own guidelines laying down the broad principles and boundaries governing the interaction of Indian psychiatrists with the media. Till then, it is desirable to be guided by the following broad principles:It should be assumed that no statement goes “off the record” as the media person is most likely recording the interview, and we should also can you order antabuse online record any such conversation from our endIt should be clarified in which capacity comments are being made – professional, personal, or as a representative of an organizationOne should not comment on any person whom he has not examinedPsychiatrists should take any such opportunity to educate the public about mental health issuesThe comments should be justified and limited by the boundaries of scientific knowledge available at the moment. References Correspondence Address:Dr.

O P SinghAA 304, Ashabari can you order antabuse online Apartments, O/31, Baishnabghata, Patuli Township, Kolkata - 700 094, West Bengal IndiaSource of Support. None, Conflict of Interest. NoneDOI.

10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_816_20Abstract Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an effective modality of treatment for a variety of psychiatric disorders. However, it has always been accused of being a coercive, unethical, and dangerous modality of treatment. The dangerousness of ECT has been mainly attributed to its claimed ability to cause brain damage.

This narrative review aims to provide an update of the evidence with regard to whether the practice of ECT is associated with damage to the brain. An accepted definition of brain damage remains elusive. There are also ethical and technical problems in designing studies that look at this question specifically.

Thus, even though there are newer technological tools and innovations, any review attempting to answer this question would have to take recourse to indirect methods. These include structural, functional, and metabolic neuroimaging. Body fluid biochemical marker studies.

And follow-up studies of cognitive impairment and incidence of dementia in people who have received ECT among others. The review of literature and present evidence suggests that ECT has a demonstrable impact on the structure and function of the brain. However, there is a lack of evidence at present to suggest that ECT causes brain damage.Keywords.

Adverse effect, brain damage, electroconvulsive therapyHow to cite this article:Jolly AJ, Singh SM. Does electroconvulsive therapy cause brain damage. An update.

Indian J Psychiatry 2020;62:339-53 Introduction Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) as a modality of treatment for psychiatric disorders has existed at least since 1938.[1] ECT is an effective modality of treatment for various psychiatric disorders. However, from the very beginning, the practice of ECT has also faced resistance from various groups who claim that it is coercive and harmful.[2] While the ethical aspects of the practice of ECT have been dealt with elsewhere, the question of harmfulness or brain damage consequent upon the passage of electric current needs to be examined afresh in light of technological advances and new knowledge.[3]The question whether ECT causes brain damage was reviewed in a holistic fashion by Devanand et al. In the mid-1990s.[4],[5] The authors had attempted to answer this question by reviewing the effect of ECT on the brain in various areas – cognitive side effects, structural neuroimaging studies, neuropathologic studies of patients who had received ECT, autopsy studies of epileptic patients, and finally animal ECS studies.

The authors had concluded that ECT does not produce brain damage.This narrative review aims to update the evidence with regard to whether ECT causes brain damage by reviewing relevant literature from 1994 to the present time. Framing the Question The Oxford Dictionary defines damage as physical harm that impairs the value, usefulness, or normal function of something.[6] Among medical dictionaries, the Peter Collins Dictionary defines damage as harm done to things (noun) or to harm something (verb).[7] Brain damage is defined by the British Medical Association Medical Dictionary as degeneration or death of nerve cells and tracts within the brain that may be localized to a particular area of the brain or diffuse.[8] Going by such a definition, brain damage in the context of ECT should refer to death or degeneration of brain tissue, which results in the impairment of functioning of the brain. The importance of precisely defining brain damage shall become evident subsequently in this review.There are now many more tools available to investigate the structure and function of brain in health and illness.

However, there are obvious ethical issues in designing human studies that are designed to answer this specific question. Therefore, one must necessarily take recourse to indirect evidences available through studies that have been designed to answer other research questions. These studies have employed the following methods:Structural neuroimaging studiesFunctional neuroimaging studiesMetabolic neuroimaging studiesBody fluid biochemical marker studiesCognitive impairment studies.While the early studies tended to focus more on establishing the safety of ECT and finding out whether ECT causes gross microscopic brain damage, the later studies especially since the advent of advanced neuroimaging techniques have been focusing more on a mechanistic understanding of ECT.

Hence, the primary objective of the later neuroimaging studies has been to look for structural and functional brain changes which might explain how ECT acts rather than evidence of gross structural damage per se. However, put together, all these studies would enable us to answer our titular question to some satisfaction. [Table 1] and [Table 2] provide an overview of the evidence base in this area.

Structural and Functional Neuroimaging Studies Devanand et al. Reviewed 16 structural neuroimaging studies on the effect of ECT on the brain.[4] Of these, two were pneumoencephalography studies, nine were computed tomography (CT) scan studies, and five were magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies. However, most of these studies were retrospective in design, with neuroimaging being done in patients who had received ECT in the past.

In the absence of baseline neuroimaging, it would be very difficult to attribute any structural brain changes to ECT. In addition, pneumoencephalography, CT scan, and even early 0.3 T MRI provided images with much lower spatial resolution than what is available today. The authors concluded that there was no evidence to show that ECT caused any structural damage to the brain.[4] Since then, at least twenty more MRI-based structural neuroimaging studies have studied the effect of ECT on the brain.

The earliest MRI studies in the early 1990s focused on detecting structural damage following ECT. All of these studies were prospective in design, with the first MRI scan done at baseline and a second MRI scan performed post ECT.[9],[11],[12],[13],[41] While most of the studies imaged the patient once around 24 h after receiving ECT, some studies performed multiple post ECT neuroimaging in the first 24 h after ECT to better capture the acute changes. A single study by Coffey et al.

Followed up the patients for a duration of 6 months and repeated neuroimaging again at 6 months in order to capture any long-term changes following ECT.[10]The most important conclusion which emerged from this early series of studies was that there was no evidence of cortical atrophy, change in ventricle size, or increase in white matter hyperintensities.[4] The next major conclusion was that there appeared to be an increase in the T1 and T2 relaxation time immediately following ECT, which returned to normal within 24 h. This supported the theory that immediately following ECT, there appears to be a temporary breakdown of the blood–brain barrier, leading to water influx into the brain tissue.[11] The last significant observation by Coffey et al. In 1991 was that there was no significant temporal changes in the total volumes of the frontal lobes, temporal lobes, or amygdala–hippocampal complex.[10] This was, however, something which would later be refuted by high-resolution MRI studies.

Nonetheless, one inescapable conclusion of these early studies was that there was no evidence of any gross structural brain changes following administration of ECT. Much later in 2007, Szabo et al. Used diffusion-weighted MRI to image patients in the immediate post ECT period and failed to observe any obvious brain tissue changes following ECT.[17]The next major breakthrough came in 2010 when Nordanskog et al.

Demonstrated that there was a significant increase in the volume of the hippocampus bilaterally following a course of ECT in a cohort of patients with depressive illness.[18] This contradicted the earlier observations by Coffey et al. That there was no volume increase in any part of the brain following ECT.[10] This was quite an exciting finding and was followed by several similar studies. However, the perspective of these studies was quite different from the early studies.

In contrast to the early studies looking for the evidence of ECT-related brain damage, the newer studies were focused more on elucidating the mechanism of action of ECT. Further on in 2014, Nordanskog et al. In a follow-up study showed that though there was a significant increase in the volume of the hippocampus 1 week after a course of ECT, the hippocampal volume returned to the baseline after 6 months.[19] Two other studies in 2013 showed that in addition to the hippocampus, the amygdala also showed significant volume increase following ECT.[20],[21] A series of structural neuroimaging studies after that have expanded on these findings and as of now, gray matter volume increase following ECT has been demonstrated in the hippocampus, amygdala, anterior temporal pole, subgenual cortex,[21] right caudate nucleus, and the whole of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) consisting of the hippocampus, amygdala, insula, and the posterosuperior temporal cortex,[24] para hippocampi, right subgenual anterior cingulate gyrus, and right anterior cingulate gyrus,[25] left cerebellar area VIIa crus I,[29] putamen, caudate nucleus, and nucleus acumbens [31] and clusters of increased cortical thickness involving the temporal pole, middle and superior temporal cortex, insula, and inferior temporal cortex.[27] However, the most consistently reported and replicated finding has been the bilateral increase in the volume of the hippocampus and amygdala.

In light of these findings, it has been tentatively suggested that ECT acts by inducing neuronal regeneration in the hippocampus – amygdala complex.[42],[43] However, there are certain inconsistencies to this hypothesis. Till date, only one study – Nordanskog et al., 2014 – has followed study patients for a long term – 6 months in their case. And significantly, the authors found out that after increasing immediately following ECT, the hippocampal volume returns back to baseline by 6 months.[19] This, however, was not associated with the relapse of depressive symptoms.

Another area of significant confusion has been the correlation of hippocampal volume increase with improvement of depressive symptoms. Though almost all studies demonstrate a significant increase in hippocampal volume following ECT, a majority of studies failed to demonstrate a correlation between symptom improvement and hippocampal volume increase.[19],[20],[22],[24],[28] However, a significant minority of volumetric studies have demonstrated correlation between increase in hippocampal and/or amygdala volume and improvement of symptoms.[21],[25],[30]Another set of studies have used diffusion tensor imaging, functional MRI (fMRI), anatomical connectome, and structural network analysis to study the effect of ECT on the brain. The first of these studies by Abbott et al.

In 2014 demonstrated that on fMRI, the connectivity between right and left hippocampus was significantly reduced in patients with severe depression. It was also shown that the connectivity was normalized following ECT, and symptom improvement was correlated with an increase in connectivity.[22] In a first of its kind DTI study, Lyden et al. In 2014 demonstrated that fractional anisotropy which is a measure of white matter tract or fiber density is increased post ECT in patients with severe depression in the anterior cingulum, forceps minor, and the dorsal aspect of the left superior longitudinal fasciculus.

The authors suggested that ECT acts to normalize major depressive disorder-related abnormalities in the structural connectivity of the dorsal fronto-limbic pathways.[23] Another DTI study in 2015 constructed large-scale anatomical networks of the human brain – connectomes, based on white matter fiber tractography. The authors found significant reorganization in the anatomical connections involving the limbic structure, temporal lobe, and frontal lobe. It was also found that connection changes between amygdala and para hippocampus correlated with reduction in depressive symptoms.[26] In 2016, Wolf et al.

Used a source-based morphometry approach to study the structural networks in patients with depression and schizophrenia and the effect of ECT on the same. It was found that the medial prefrontal cortex/anterior cingulate cortex (ACC/MPFC) network, MTL network, bilateral thalamus, and left cerebellar regions/precuneus exhibited significant difference between healthy controls and the patient population. It was also demonstrated that administration of ECT leads to significant increase in the network strength of the ACC/MPFC network and the MTL network though the increase in network strength and symptom amelioration were not correlated.[32]Building on these studies, a recently published meta-analysis has attempted a quantitative synthesis of brain volume changes – focusing on hippocampal volume increase following ECT in patients with major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder.

The authors initially selected 32 original articles from which six articles met the criteria for quantitative synthesis. The results showed significant increase in the volume of the right and left hippocampus following ECT. For the rest of the brain regions, the heterogeneity in protocols and imaging techniques did not permit a quantitative analysis, and the authors have resorted to a narrative review similar to the present one with similar conclusions.[44] Focusing exclusively on hippocampal volume change in ECT, Oltedal et al.

In 2018 conducted a mega-analysis of 281 patients with major depressive disorder treated with ECT enrolled at ten different global sites of the Global ECT-MRI Research Collaboration.[45] Similar to previous studies, there was a significant increase in hippocampal volume bilaterally with a dose–response relationship with the number of ECTs administered. Furthermore, bilateral (B/L) ECT was associated with an equal increase in volume in both right and left hippocampus, whereas right unilateral ECT was associated with greater volume increase in the right hippocampus. Finally, contrary to expectation, clinical improvement was found to be negatively correlated with hippocampal volume.Thus, a review of the current evidence amply demonstrates that from looking for ECT-related brain damage – and finding none, we have now moved ahead to looking for a mechanistic understanding of the effect of ECT.

In this regard, it has been found that ECT does induce structural changes in the brain – a fact which has been seized upon by some to claim that ECT causes brain damage.[46] Such statements should, however, be weighed against the definition of damage as understood by the scientific medical community and patient population. Neuroanatomical changes associated with effective ECT can be better described as ECT-induced brain neuroplasticity or ECT-induced brain neuromodulation rather than ECT-induced brain damage. Metabolic Neuroimaging Studies.

Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging Magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) uses a phase-encoding procedure to map the spatial distribution of magnetic resonance (MR) signals of different molecules. The crucial difference, however, is that while MRI maps the MR signals of water molecules, MRSI maps the MR signals generated by different metabolites – such as N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) and choline-containing compounds. However, the concentration of these metabolites is at least 10,000 times lower than water molecules and hence the signal strength generated would also be correspondingly lower.

However, MRSI offers us the unique advantage of studying in vivo the change in the concentration of brain metabolites, which has been of great significance in fields such as psychiatry, neurology, and basic neuroscience research.[47]MRSI studies on ECT in patients with depression have focused largely on four metabolites in the human brain – NAA, choline-containing compounds (Cho) which include majorly cell membrane compounds such as glycerophosphocholine, phosphocholine and a miniscule contribution from acetylcholine, creatinine (Cr) and glutamine and glutamate together (Glx). NAA is located exclusively in the neurons, and is suggested to be a marker of neuronal viability and functionality.[48] Choline-containing compounds (Cho) mainly include the membrane compounds, and an increase in Cho would be suggestive of increased membrane turnover. Cr serves as a marker of cellular energy metabolism, and its levels are usually expected to remain stable.

The regions which have been most widely studied in MRSI studies include the bilateral hippocampus and amygdala, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and ACC.Till date, five MRSI studies have measured NAA concentration in the hippocampus before and after ECT. Of these, three studies showed that there is no significant change in the NAA concentration in the hippocampus following ECT.[33],[38],[49] On the other hand, two recent studies have demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in NAA concentration in the hippocampus following ECT.[39],[40] The implications of these results are of significant interest to us in answering our titular question. A normal level of NAA following ECT could signify that there is no significant neuronal death or damage following ECT, while a reduction would signal the opposite.

However, a direct comparison between these studies is complicated chiefly due to the different ECT protocols, which has been used in these studies. It must, however, be acknowledged that the three older studies used 1.5 T MRI, whereas the two newer studies used a higher 3 T MRI which offers betters signal-to-noise ratio and hence lesser risk of errors in the measurement of metabolite concentrations. The authors of a study by Njau et al.[39] argue that a change in NAA levels might reflect reversible changes in neural metabolism rather than a permanent change in the number or density of neurons and also that reduced NAA might point to a change in the ratio of mature to immature neurons, which, in fact, might reflect enhanced adult neurogenesis.

Thus, the authors warn that to conclude whether a reduction in NAA concentration is beneficial or harmful would take a simultaneous measurement of cognitive functioning, which was lacking in their study. In 2017, Cano et al. Also demonstrated a significant reduction in NAA/Cr ratio in the hippocampus post ECT.

More significantly, the authors also showed a significant increase in Glx levels in the hippocampus following ECT, which was also associated with an increase in hippocampal volume.[40] To explain these three findings, the authors proposed that ECT produces a neuroinflammatory response in the hippocampus – likely mediated by Glx, which has been known to cause inflammation at higher concentrations, thereby accounting for the increase in hippocampal volume with a reduction in NAA concentration. The cause for the volume increase remains unclear – with the authors speculating that it might be due to neuronal swelling or due to angiogenesis. However, the same study and multiple other past studies [21],[25],[30] have demonstrated that hippocampal volume increase was correlated with clinical improvement following ECT.

Thus, we are led to the hypothesis that the same mechanism which drives clinical improvement with ECT is also responsible for the cognitive impairment following ECT. Whether this is a purely neuroinflammatory response or a neuroplastic response or a neuroinflammatory response leading to some form of neuroplasticity is a critical question, which remains to be answered.[40]Studies which have analyzed NAA concentration change in other brain areas have also produced conflicting results. The ACC is another area which has been studied in some detail utilizing the MRSI technique.

In 2003, Pfleiderer et al. Demonstrated that there was no significant change in the NAA and Cho levels in the ACC following ECT. This would seem to suggest that there was no neurogenesis or membrane turnover in the ACC post ECT.[36] However, this finding was contested by Merkl et al.

In 2011, who demonstrated that NAA levels were significantly reduced in the left ACC in patients with depression and that these levels were significantly elevated following ECT.[37] This again is contested by Njau et al. Who showed that NAA levels are significantly reduced following ECT in the left dorsal ACC.[39] A direct comparison of these three studies is complicated by the different ECT and imaging parameters used and hence, no firm conclusion can be made on this point at this stage. In addition to this, one study had demonstrated increased NAA levels in the amygdala following administration of ECT,[34] with a trend level increase in Cho levels, which again is suggestive of neurogenesis and/or neuroplasticity.

A review of studies on the DLPFC reveals a similarly confusing picture with one study, each showing no change, reduction, and elevation of concentration of NAA following ECT.[35],[37],[39] Here, again, a direct comparison of the three studies is made difficult by the heterogeneous imaging and ECT protocols followed by them.A total of five studies have analyzed the concentration of choline-containing compounds (Cho) in patients undergoing ECT. Conceptually, an increase in Cho signals is indicative of increased membrane turnover, which is postulated to be associated with synaptogenesis, neurogenesis, and maturation of neurons.[31] Of these, two studies measured Cho concentration in the B/L hippocampus, with contrasting results. Ende et al.

In 2000 demonstrated a significant elevation in Cho levels in B/L hippocampus after ECT, while Jorgensen et al. In 2015 failed to replicate the same finding.[33],[38] Cho levels have also been studied in the amygdala, ACC, and the DLPFC. However, none of these studies showed a significant increase or decrease in Cho levels before and after ECT in the respective brain regions studied.

In addition, no significant difference was seen in the pre-ECT Cho levels of patients compared to healthy controls.[34],[36],[37]In review, we must admit that MRSI studies are still at a preliminary stage with significant heterogeneity in ECT protocols, patient population, and regions of the brain studied. At this stage, it is difficult to draw any firm conclusions except to acknowledge the fact that the more recent studies – Njau et al., 2017, Cano, 2017, and Jorgensen et al., 2015 – have shown decrease in NAA concentration and no increase in Cho levels [38],[39],[40] – as opposed to the earlier studies by Ende et al.[33] The view offered by the more recent studies is one of a neuroinflammatory models of action of ECT, probably driving neuroplasticity in the hippocampus. This would offer a mechanistic understanding of both clinical response and the phenomenon of cognitive impairment associated with ECT.

However, this conclusion is based on conjecture, and more work needs to be done in this area. Body Fluid Biochemical Marker Studies Another line of evidence for analyzing the effect of ECT on the human brain is the study of concentration of neurotrophins in the plasma or serum. Neurotrophins are small protein molecules which mediate neuronal survival and development.

The most prominent among these is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which plays an important role in neuronal survival, plasticity, and migration.[50] A neurotrophic theory of mood disorders was suggested which hypothesized that depressive disorders are associated with a decreased expression of BDNF in the limbic structures, resulting in the atrophy of these structures.[51] It was also postulated that antidepressant treatment has a neurotrophic effect which reverses the neuronal cell loss, thereby producing a therapeutic effect. It has been well established that BDNF is decreased in mood disorders.[52] It has also been shown that clinical improvement of depression is associated with increase in BDNF levels.[53] Thus, serum BDNF levels have been tentatively proposed as a biomarker for treatment response in depression. Recent meta-analytic evidence has shown that ECT is associated with significant increase in serum BDNF levels in patients with major depressive disorder.[54] Considering that BDNF is a potent stimulator of neurogenesis, the elevation of serum BDNF levels following ECT lends further credence to the theory that ECT leads to neurogenesis in the hippocampus and other limbic structures, which, in turn, mediates the therapeutic action of ECT.

Cognitive Impairment Studies Cognitive impairment has always been the single-most important side effect associated with ECT.[55] Concerns regarding long-term cognitive impairment surfaced soon after the introduction of ECT and since then has grown to become one of the most controversial aspects of ECT.[56] Anti-ECT groups have frequently pointed out to cognitive impairment following ECT as evidence of ECT causing brain damage.[56] A meta-analysis by Semkovska and McLoughlin in 2010 is one of the most detailed studies which had attempted to settle this long-standing debate.[57] The authors reviewed 84 studies (2981 participants), which had used a combined total of 22 standardized neuropsychological tests assessing various cognitive functions before and after ECT in patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder. The different cognitive domains reviewed included processing speed, attention/working memory, verbal episodic memory, visual episodic memory, spatial problem-solving, executive functioning, and intellectual ability. The authors concluded that administration of ECT for depression is associated with significant cognitive impairment in the first few days after ECT administration.

However, it was also seen that impairment in cognitive functioning resolved within a span of 2 weeks and thereafter, a majority of cognitive domains even showed mild improvement compared to the baseline performance. It was also demonstrated that not a single cognitive domain showed persistence of impairment beyond 15 days after ECT.Memory impairment following ECT can be analyzed broadly under two conceptual schemes – one that classifies memory impairment as objective memory impairment and subjective memory impairment and the other that classifies it as impairment in anterograde memory versus impairment in retrograde memory. Objective memory can be roughly defined as the ability to retrieve stored information and can be measured by various standardized neuropsychological tests.

Subjective memory or meta-memory, on the other hand, refers to the ability to make judgments about one's ability to retrieve stored information.[58] As described previously, it has been conclusively demonstrated that anterograde memory impairment does not persist beyond 2 weeks after ECT.[57] However, one of the major limitations of this meta-analysis was the lack of evidence on retrograde amnesia following ECT. This is particularly unfortunate considering that it is memory impairment – particularly retrograde amnesia which has received the most attention.[59] In addition, reports of catastrophic retrograde amnesia have been repeatedly held up as sensational evidence of the lasting brain damage produced by ECT.[59] Admittedly, studies on retrograde amnesia are fewer and less conclusive than on anterograde amnesia.[60],[61] At present, the results are conflicting, with some studies finding some impairment in retrograde memory – particularly autobiographical retrograde memory up to 6 months after ECT.[62],[63],[64],[65] However, more recent studies have failed to support this finding.[66],[67] While they do demonstrate an impairment in retrograde memory immediately after ECT, it was seen that this deficit returned to pre-ECT levels within a span of 1–2 months and improved beyond baseline performance at 6 months post ECT.[66] Adding to the confusion are numerous factors which confound the assessment of retrograde amnesia. It has been shown that depressive symptoms can produce significant impairment of retrograde memory.[68],[69] It has also been demonstrated that sine-wave ECT produces significantly more impairment of retrograde memory as compared to brief-pulse ECT.[70] However, from the 1990s onward, sine-wave ECT has been completely replaced by brief-pulse ECT, and it is unclear as to the implications of cognitive impairment from the sine-wave era in contemporary ECT practice.Another area of concern are reports of subjective memory impairment following ECT.

One of the pioneers of research into subjective memory impairment were Squire and Chace who published a series of studies in the 1970s demonstrating the adverse effect of bilateral ECT on subjective assessment of memory.[62],[63],[64],[65] However, most of the studies conducted post 1980 – from when sine-wave ECT was replaced by brief-pulse ECT report a general improvement in subjective memory assessments following ECT.[71] In addition, most of the recent studies have failed to find a significant association between measures of subjective and objective memory.[63],[66],[70],[72],[73],[74] It has also been shown that subjective memory impairment is strongly associated with the severity of depressive symptoms.[75] In light of these facts, the validity and value of measures of subjective memory impairment as a marker of cognitive impairment and brain damage following ECT have been questioned. However, concerns regarding subjective memory impairment and catastrophic retrograde amnesia continue to persist, with significant dissonance between the findings of different research groups and patient self-reports in various media.[57]Some studies reported the possibility of ECT being associated with the development of subsequent dementia.[76],[77] However, a recent large, well-controlled prospective Danish study found that the use of ECT was not associated with elevated incidence of dementia.[78] Conclusion Our titular question is whether ECT leads to brain damage, where damage indicates destruction or degeneration of nerves or nerve tracts in the brain, which leads to loss of function. This issue was last addressed by Devanand et al.

In 1994 since which time our understanding of ECT has grown substantially, helped particularly by the advent of modern-day neuroimaging techniques which we have reviewed in detail. And, what these studies reveal is rather than damaging the brain, ECT has a neuromodulatory effect on the brain. The various lines of evidence – structural neuroimaging studies, functional neuroimaging studies, neurochemical and metabolic studies, and serum BDNF studies all point toward this.

These neuromodulatory changes have been localized to the hippocampus, amygdala, and certain other parts of the limbic system. How exactly these changes mediate the improvement of depressive symptoms is a question that remains unanswered. However, there is little by way of evidence from neuroimaging studies which indicates that ECT causes destruction or degeneration of neurons.

Though cognitive impairment studies do show that there is objective impairment of certain functions – particularly memory immediately after ECT, these impairments are transient with full recovery within a span of 2 weeks. Perhaps, the single-most important unaddressed concern is retrograde amnesia, which has been shown to persist for up to 2 months post ECT. In this regard, the recent neurometabolic studies have offered a tentative mechanism of action of ECT, producing a transient inflammation in the limbic cortex, which, in turn, drives neurogenesis, thereby exerting a neuromodulatory effect.

This hypothesis would explain both the cognitive adverse effects of ECT – due to the transient inflammation – and the long-term improvement in mood – neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Although unproven at present, such a hypothesis would imply that cognitive impairment is tied in with the mechanism of action of ECT and not an indicator of damage to the brain produced by ECT.The review of literature suggests that ECT does cause at least structural and functional changes in the brain, and these are in all probability related to the effects of the ECT. However, these cannot be construed as brain damage as is usually understood.

Due to the relative scarcity of data that directly examines the question of whether ECT causes brain damage, it is not possible to conclusively answer this question. However, in light of enduring ECT survivor accounts, there is a need to design studies that specifically answer this question.Financial support and sponsorshipNil.Conflicts of interestThere are no conflicts of interest. References 1.Payne NA, Prudic J.

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Correspondence Address:Dr. Shubh Mohan SinghDepartment of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh IndiaSource of Support. None, Conflict of Interest.

NoneDOI. 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_239_19 Tables [Table 1], [Table 2].