ECT is a highly effective treatment option for those suffering with severe depression, mania and catatonia. Each patient typically receives a series of treatments. Treatments usually begin three times per week and then taper to monthly based on the individual needs of the patient. Two psychiatrists must render separate opinions supporting the benefit of the treatment.
By Elaina Martin Last updated: These issues and the lingering stigma they cast meant shock therapy fell out of favor. But ECT has evolved and progressed significantly from when it was first introduced in Doctors today employ a refined, safer form of this therapy that uses far lower amounts of electricity and more careful monitoring.
Nonetheless, some memory loss can occur and short-term nausea, headaches and muscle soreness are not uncommon. For a while doctors tried medications to induce seizures in schizophrenic patients. Before long, ECT was designed to achieve this outcome.
In those early days, a maximum electrical current was used to produce a seizure. By the s, though, ECT — stigmatized and feared — was used less, especially as newer psychiatric medications were developed.
But it never went away, and has even increased since the s thanks to improved treatment delivery methods, increased safety and comfort measures, and better management of anesthesia. It is estimated that aboutpatients now undergo ECT annually. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, ECT may also be used in life-threatening circumstances, such as when a patient is unable to move or respond to the outside world a condition called catatoniais suicidal, or is malnourished as a result of severe depression.
The same study found that follow-up treatments were effective in reducing chances of relapse. How It Works ECT involves the application of an electrical current sent briefly to the brain, generally for a duration of 4 to 6 seconds. The patient is first given anesthesia so that the he or she is unaware of the procedure as it takes places.
A muscle relaxant is also administered so that the seizure does not cause convulsions. The patient is monitored by EEG electroencephalogram during the procedure. Electrodes are placed on the temples and, occasionally, elsewhere on the head, though which an electric current flows into the brain, triggering a brief seizure.
Rather than violent convulsions, often the movement of a toe, arm, or leg is the only indication that the seizure is occurring.
Not including preparation and recovery time, the process usually takes no longer than 15 minutes. There is no standard number of ECT treatments required for results. For some it only 3 treatments are needed to produce a positive outcome.
For others results may require a good deal more. Standard practice in the US is to administer 3 treatments per week, usually on a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule.
Hospitalized 4 times for depression, Kivler first got ECT treatment in the hospital, then later on an outpatient basis. ECT does a similar thing to the brain — it reboots it. This is due, in part, to the side effects of the procedure. McCall estimates, have these effects to some degree.
There are also risks of heart rhythm problems, especially for patients with pre-existing heart disease. How much memory might be impacted depends in part on the patient: Older people experience memory deficits more often than younger people.
But it also depends on the technique with which ECT is applied, says Dr.We offer Electroconvulsive Therapy on both an outpatient and inpatient basis for adults 18 years and older at our Peak View location.. ECT is a highly effective treatment option for those suffering with severe depression, mania and catatonia.
Eranti S, Mogg A, Pluck G, Landau S, Purvis S, Brown R G, Howard R, Knapp M, Philpot M, Rabe-Hesketh S, Romeo R, Rothwell J, Edwards D, McLoughlin D M. () A Randomized, Controlled Trial With 6-Month Follow-Up of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Electroconvulsive Therapy for Severe Depression.
Jan 12, · The evidence for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in the treatment of severe late-life depression.
ECT: the preferred treatment for severe depression in late life. Int Psychogeriatr. Feb. 19(1), ; discussion Use of Electroconvulsive Therapy (back to top) The decision to administer ECT is based on an evaluation of the risks and benefits for the individual patient and involves a combination of factors, including psychiatric diagnosis, type and severity of symptoms, prior treatment history and response, identification of possible alternative treatment options, and consumer preference.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is utilized worldwide for various severe and treatment-resistant psychiatric disorders.
Research studies have shown that ECT is the most effective and rapid treatment available for elderly patients with depression, bipolar disorder and psychosis. For patients who. Brain stimulation techniques such as electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), for example, can be used to treat major depression that hasn't responded to standard treatments.