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Video: Electric Shock Temporarily Restored The Woman's Color Vision
Electric shock temporarily restored the woman's color vision
The improvement in color vision was a "side effect" of the electroconvulsive therapy that the patient received for her depression.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a treatment that is used in extreme cases to treat certain mental health conditions, such as severe depression. It turned out that the "side effect" of such therapy could be a temporary relief of color blindness or color blindness. Scientists described such a clinical case in the journal Brain Stimulation.
A thirty-year-old woman was hospitalized for depression with suicidal ideation six months after giving birth. Against the background of standard treatment in the hospital, the patient became worse. When drug therapy failed, the woman agreed to ECT.
ECT is usually done under general anesthesia and after the use of muscle relaxants (drugs that relax muscles). The patient, whose clinical case is described in Brain Stimulation, had electrodes placed on her temples.
The woman had the most common form of color blindness - she could not distinguish between red and green. After several ECT sessions while walking, she found herself seeing new colors in the hospital garden and in the watercolors she had previously made herself. The woman's color vision was the same by the next morning.
Physicians were unable to find other examples of ECT-induced color vision improvement in the literature. After the next treatment sessions, they asked the patient to undergo color perception tests. Over time, the number of errors in passing these tests has decreased.
Scientists have suggested that the electrical discharges affected the thalamus, or the areas of the cerebral cortex that are responsible for color processing.
The patient was discharged from the hospital with some relief of her symptoms of depression after 26 ECT sessions.