Therapeutic and prophylactic utility of the memory-enhancing drug donepezil hydrochloride on cognition of patients undergoing electroconvulsive therapy: a randomized controlled trial.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Substantial progress has been made in identifying how the treatment parameters used in electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) impact its cognitive side effects. However, there is limited information regarding the role of memory enhancers in post-ECT cognitive disturbances. We evaluated the therapeutic and prophylactic efficacy of the memory-enhancing drug donepezil hydrochloride on cognition of patients undergoing ECT.


A triple blind (the study subjects, clinician assessing the cognition, and the data analyst were unaware of subject allocation for trial assessment) randomized controlled trial was carried out in a General Hospital Psychiatry Unit. Subjects were randomized into 2 groups. One group received ECT with placebo, whereas the other group received ECT and donepezil (a memory-enhancing drug). Study participants were assessed in post-ECT period to analyze cognitive deficits and to compare the differences in 2 groups, as regards recovery of various aspects of cognition.


The post-ECT recovery of various components of cognition was more rapid in patients using donepezil as compared to those not given donepezil (P < 0.05).


This significant improvement in recovery time among patients receiving donepezil bears therapeutic implication in immediate post-ECT cognitive deficits.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Prakash, J; Kotwal, A; Prabhu, H

Published Date

  • September 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 22 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 163 - 168

PubMed ID

  • 16957530

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1533-4112

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1095-0680

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/01.yct.0000230365.81368.2d


  • eng