ECT and ketamine: not the whole truth

Important analysis of Dr Anderson’s response to our open letter

ECT statistics

In my last post I discussed an article in the Observer about the Manchester ECT and ketamine study. The article described how a number of mental health professionals had raised concerns about the study. On 30 June the Guardian gave Ian Anderson, professor of psychiatry at Manchester University and the lead investigator of the study, some space to respond to these concerns.

The response explains how ketamine is “an anaesthetic in daily use throughout the NHS” and has sometimes been used as an anaesthetic for ECT. The main objective of the study, it says, is to investigate whether “cognitive side effects, including memory problems” can “reduced or eliminated.” The response points to the fact that other similar studies have been done but are too small to provide conclusive evidence of ketamine’s ability to reduce the cognitive effects of ECT, hence the need for the Manchester researcher’s own larger study. Smaller…

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