|Home | About | Journals | Submit | Contact Us | Français|
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) often results in a number of short- and long-time side effects including memory impairment for past and current events, which can last for several months after ECT treatment. It has been suggested that unilateral ECT (uECT) with electrodes placed over the non-dominant (typically right) hemisphere significantly reduces side effects, especially memory disturbances. It is important to note that cerebral dominance equates to speech dominance and avoiding this area of the brain also reduces speech dysfunction after ECT. Traditionally, the routine clinical determination of cerebral dominance has been through the assessment of hand, foot and eye dominance, which is an easy and inexpensive approach that, however, does not ensure accuracy. This review of literature on different methods and techniques for determination of cerebral dominance and provides evidence that functional transcranial Doppler sonography (fTCD) represents a valid and safe alternative to invasive techniques for identifying speech lateralisation. It can be concluded that fTCD, notwithstanding its costs, could be used as a standard procedure prior to uECT treatment to determine cerebral dominance, thereby further reducing cognitive side-effects of ECT and possibly making it more acceptable to both patients and clinicians.