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What are the side effects of electric shock therapy?

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Quick Answer

According to Harvard University, one of the side effects of electric shock therapy, or electroconvulsive shock therapy (ECT), is memory loss. Memory typically returns to most patients within a few weeks after treatment but not always or completely.

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Another side effect of ECT includes adverse reactions to the anesthesia and neuromuscular blocking agents that are used in the procedure. Alterations in blood pressure are not uncommon, and both increased and decreased blood pressure can occur. Cardiovascular risks are rare but can be potentially severe with the most common side effect being the onset of an irregular heartbeat or ischemia, according to PsychCentral — the Internet’s largest mental health social network.

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