A systematic review of the neurocognitive effects of magnetic seizure therapy

Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA.
International Review of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 1.8). 10/2011; 23(5):413-23. DOI: 10.3109/09540261.2011.623687
Source: PubMed


Magnetic seizure therapy (MST) is a novel neurotherapeutic intervention in development for the treatment of major affective disorders. Like other neurotherapeutic strategies such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a primary interest will be to monitor the associated neurocognitive effects. Thus, the purpose of this systematic review was to synthesize the available data on the neurocognitive effects of MST. The authors performed two independent literature searches with the following terms terms: MST, magnetic, magnetic seizure therapy, depression, neurocognition, cognitive, preclinical. We included in this review a total of eleven articles that mentioned MST and neurocognition in the abstract. The articles were divided into three methodological domains that included virtual computer simulations, preclinical studies, and clinical investigations. Collectively, the available evidence suggests MST has little to no adverse cognitive effects. Specifically, virtual computer simulations found the magnetic field was localized to grey matter, and preclinical studies found no neurocortical or neurocognitive sequelae. Clinical investigations found MST to be associated with rapid reorientation and intact anterograde and retrograde memory. Future investigations using translational methods are warranted to confirm these findings and to further determine the effects of MST on neurocognitive functions.

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