Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Medical Science (MMSc)

First Advisor

Samuel Wilkinson, MD


Electroconvulsive therapy is a procedure whereby patients have electricity delivered to their brain to induce a generalized seizure. Electroconvulsive therapy is highly efficacious in treating conditions such as major depressive disorder, but it can induce temporary cognitive deficits and memory loss. Studies suggest that medications used to slow Alzheimer’s disease may diminish these adverse effects, but we aim to determine whether donepezil and memantine combination therapy can prophylactically protect cognitive functioning and memory in patients receiving electroconvulsive therapy. Using a randomized control design, we assess patients with major depressive disorder before and after electroconvulsive therapy using a battery of cognition and memory tests, including the Columbia University Autobiographical Memory Interview – Short Form. Changes in these scores will be compared within and between patients taking combination therapy and placebo. This work will help improve our understanding of the effects of electroconvulsive therapy, and potentially help alleviate its adverse cognitive effects.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access