Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
What is Electroconvulsive Therapy?
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a medical procedure used to treat severe psychiatric and neurological illnesses. ECT is performed by a physician while the patient is monitored closely and kept pain-free.
Who is a good candidate for ECT?
- Individuals that have failed to respond to medication trials
- Patients with severe or treatment-resistant manic or mixed episodes of bipolar disorder
- Intolerance to side e ects of medication
- Patients who have depression with psychotic or catatonic features
- Medical issues that prevent them from taking psychotropic medications
- Dementia complicated by an underlying mood disorder
How often are patients treated?
Initially, ECT is given two to three times a week for two to four weeks. Some individuals may need more treatments and some may need less. An acute course of treatment is about eight to 12 treatments, but there is no set number of treatments. Some individuals may benefit from continued treatments called maintenance ECT.
What are the common side effects of ECT?
While there are few or no reported side effects, some people experience headaches, nausea, muscle aches, jaw pain, and memory dffculties around the time of treatment.