Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a medical treatment most commonly used in patients with severe major depression or bipolar disorder that has not responded to other treatments. ECT involves a brief electrical stimulation of the brain while the patient is under anesthesia.
Side-effects loss of memory about the events immediately before and after ECT. heart rhythm disturbances. low blood pressure. headaches. nausea. sore muscles, aching jaw. confusion .
Electroconvulsive therapy is a safe , controlled procedure for depression and other psychological disorders that have not responded to other treatments . A small amount of electric current is passed through the brain in order to cause a brief seizure.
What is the Success Rate of Electroconvulsive Therapy? ECT is an effective medical treatment option, helping as many as 80- 85 percent of patients who receive it.
ECT does not change a person’s personality , nor is it designed to treat those with just primary “ personality disorders.” ECT can cause transient short-term memory — or new learning — impairment during a course of ECT , which fully reverses usually within one to four weeks after an acute course is stopped.
ECT is not used to treat anxiety and therefore does not have a role in people who have solely an anxiety disorder. ECT may have a role in people who have comorbid depression and anxiety .
When ECT is properly administered, brain damage does not occur. In fact, research has shown that ECT increases brain -derived neurotrophic factor, which stimulates brain cell growth.
Any helpful effects are likely to be short-term. ECT can ‘t prevent future depression, or fix any ongoing stresses or problems that are contributing to how you ‘re feeling. Some people have very bad experiences of ECT , for example because they feel worse after treatment or are given it without consent.
People who have had ECT before and responded well are good candidates for ECT . Other first-line indications for the procedure include people who are catatonic or suffering from a form of depression known as psychotic depression (depression associated with delusions and hallucinations).
And ECT performed anywhere has some downsides. Patients typically emerge from a session temporarily disoriented. More seriously, most patients experience retrograde amnesia afterward: they no longer remember many events that occurred a few weeks to months before the treatment.
ECT treatments cost $300 to $1,000 per treatment, with an initial course requiring five to 15 treatments followed by 10 to 20 maintenance treatments per year, the researchers noted. That means the annual cost can be more than $10,000, compared with a cost of several hundred dollars for many antidepressant medications.
Electroconvulsive therapy ( ECT ) is a highly effective treatment for depression. Research indicates that ECT can be significantly more effective than pharmacotherapy, with 50% to 60% of patients achieving rapid remission of depression after a course of ECT compared with 10% to 40% with pharmacotherapy/psychotherapy.
ECT can work much more quickly than antidepressants and is useful when patients are at immediate risk for self-injury or suicide. ECT may also be prescribed when antidepressant medications have not worked .
If electroconvulsive therapy doesn’t work , the next step could be deep brain stimulation (DBS) — a depression treatment that is currently considered experimental.
Shortly after ECT , most patients have gaps in their memory for events that occurred close in time to the course of ECT , but the amnesia may extend back several months or years. Retrograde amnesia usually improves during the first few months after ECT .