A story in today’s Western Mail has revealed that at least 643 patients in Wales have received Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatment in the past five years.
The paper stated that a series of Freedom of Information requests confirmed the practice remains common in Welsh hospitals.
ECT is used for people suffering with severe depression, mania or catatonia. It has also been shown to be effective in postnatal depression.
However, there is concern in the medical profession about its long-term side effects, particularly memory loss. Some patients have described feeling their personalities have changed or that they have lost skills.
To read the Western Mail’s story in full please visit: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2010/07/28/hundreds-undergo-electric-current-therapy-in-wales-91466-26944493/
Study of societal cost of schizophrenia in England available
A London School of Economics study which aims to provide information on the cost of schizophrenia in terms of its financial and social burdens is now available.
Findings from the study estimated that the total societal cost of schizophrenia in England in 2004/05 was £6.7 billion.
The costs included in the study related to: health and social care, informal care, private expenditures, lost productivity, premature mortality, criminal justice services and other public expenditures such as those by the social security system.
For a breakdown of costs and more information please visit: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17417045
Study suggests antipsychotic drugs may cause brain damage
An article in the Cambridge Journal of Psychological Medicine has suggested that anti-psychotic drugs may cause brain damage.
The article, which refers to a study by University College London published earlier this year entitled ‘A systematic review of the effects of antipsychotic drugs on brain volume’, concluded that “Some evidence points towards the possibility that antipsychotic drugs reduce the volume of brain matter and increase ventricular or fluid volume.”
For more information on the study please visit: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=7096488