It looks at how ECT works, why it is used, its effects and side-effects, and alternative treatments. Although a safe and effective treatment, ECT remains controversial and we have included some of the different views about it.
What Is the Outlook for Depression? When medication fails to ease the symptoms of clinical depressionthere are other options to try. The least invasive of these techniques is called transcranial magnetic stimulation TMSin which a magnetic field is created by a device held above the head, causing a weak electrical signal to be applied to the prefrontal cortex, the region of the brain that is connected to mood.
Vagus nerve stimulation VNS is another treatment for depression that uses a surgically implanted pacemaker -like device that electrically stimulates a nerve that runs up the neck into the brain.
The nerve is called the vagus nerve. With ECT, an electric current is briefly applied through the scalp to the braininducing a seizure. In addition, alternative therapies such as yoga and hypnosis sometimes work for mild depression.
ECT is among the safest and most effective treatments available for depression. The current causes a brief seizure in the brain.
ECT is one of the fastest ways to relieve symptoms in severely depressed or suicidal patients. ECT is generally used when severe depression is unresponsive to other forms of therapy.
Or it might be used when patients pose a severe threat to themselves or others and it is too dangerous to wait until medications take effect. Although ECT has been used since the s and s, it remains misunderstood by the general public. It is also a misconception that ECT is used as a "quick fix" in place of long-term therapy or hospitalization.
Nor is it correct to believe that the patient is painfully "shocked" out of the depression. Unfavorable news reports and media coverage have contributed to the controversy surrounding this treatment. Prior to ECT treatment, a patient is given a muscle relaxant and is put to sleep with a general anesthesia.
This current causes a brief seizure in the brain. Because the muscles are relaxed, the visible effects of the seizure will usually be limited to slight movement of the hands and feet. Patients are carefully monitored during the treatment. The patient awakens minutes later, does not remember the treatment or events surrounding it, and is often confused.
The confusion typically lasts for only a short period of time. ECT is usually given up to three times a week for a total of two to four weeks. While ECT uses an electric current to induce seizure, TMS creates a magnetic field to induce a much smaller electric current in a specific part of the brain without causing seizure or loss of consciousness.
The current is caused by the magnetic field created by an electromagnetic coil that delivers the pulses through the forehead. Approved by the FDA in for treatment-resistant depression, TMS works best in patients who have failed to benefit from one, but not two or more, antidepressant treatments.
Patients undergoing TMS must be treated four or five times a week for four to six weeks. Research has shown that TMS produces few side effects and is both safe and effective for medication-resistant depression.Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a procedure, done under general anesthesia, in which small electric currents are passed through the brain, intentionally triggering a brief seizure.
ECT seems to cause changes in brain chemistry that can quickly reverse symptoms of certain mental health conditions. Group Therapy is a very effective treatment approach. Studies have shown equal success between individual therapy and group therapy. In fact, there are many advantages and opportunities in group therapy that are not available with individual therapy.
Speed of response and mechanism of ECT action What does the speed of response tell us about the mechanisms of action of ECT? Clearly, in certain patients, the neurobiological changes induced by ECT include almost immediate alterations in brain systems that regulate mood and affect.
New Drugs Introduced. Before the development of psychiatric drug therapy, the most commonly used treatments for mental illness were electroconvulsive therapy, insulin coma therapy and lobotomies. Apr 20, · The use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) to treat psychiatric disorders is on the rise in England, according to a new report in the Guardian.
. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) — Learn about definition, risks and results of this treatment for depression.
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