Resources and Research

Effects of Pulse Width and Electrode Placement on the Efficacy and Cognitive Effects of Electroconvulsive Therapy

Harold A. Sackeim, Ph.D., Joan Prudic, M.D., Mitchell S. Nobler, M.D., Linda Fitzsimons, R.N., Sarah H. Lisanby, M.D., Nancy Payne, C.S.W., Robert M. Berman, M.D., Ph.D., Eva-Lotta Brakemeier, M.A., Tarique Perera, M.D., and D. P. Devanand, M.D.

While electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in major depression is effective, cognitive effects limit its use. Reducing the width of the electrical pulse and using the right unilateral electrode placement may decrease adverse cognitive effects, while preserving efficacy.