How does ECT therapy work?
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.
What is ECT therapy used to treat?
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.
What are the side effects of electric shock therapy?
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 .
What is the success rate of ECT?
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. Most patients remain well for many months afterwards.
Who is a good candidate for ECT?
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).
Can ECT make you worse?
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.
Does ECT work for anxiety?
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 .
Does ECT change your personality?
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.
What are the long term side effects of ECT?
But some people experience more long-lasting or permanent memory loss , including losing personal memories or forgetting information they need to continue in their career or make sense of their personal relationships. Some people also find they have difficulty remembering new information from after they’ve had ECT.
Does ECT kill brain cells?
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.
What to expect after ECT therapy?
When you awaken, you may experience a period of disorientation lasting from a few minutes to several hours. Headaches, jaw pain, and muscle soreness may occur. ECT requires a series of treatments , often initiated two to three times a week for a few weeks and then the frequency is tapered down.
What happens when ECT doesn’t work?
If electroconvulsive therapy doesn’t work , the next step could be deep brain stimulation (DBS) — a depression treatment that is currently considered experimental.
Can you drive during ECT treatment?
Patients are not allowed to drive during the entire ECT course and for 2 weeks after the last treatment in an acute series of ECT . An acute series is usually 3 treatments a week for 6 to 12 treatments . Patients who receive maintenance ECT can drive except on the day of ECT .
Is ECT better than antidepressants?
These sessions improve depression in 70 to 90 percent of patients, a response rate much higher than that of antidepressant drugs. Although ECT is effective, its benefits are short-lived. For this reason, patients take antidepressant medication after ECT or may continue receiving ECT periodically to prevent relapse.
How many ECT treatments are needed?
People undergoing ECT need multiple treatments. The number needed to successfully treat severe depression can range from 4 to 20, but most people need a total of 6 to 12 treatments . The treatments are usually given three times a week — Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.