Electroconvulsive Therapy Effectiveness

Electroconvulsive Therapy Effectiveness

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.May 9, 2018

How long do the effects of ECT last?

There is considerable variability in the trajectories, but most commonly there is progressive symptomatic improvement within the first week and complete remission within 3 to 4 weeks.

What are the benefits of electroconvulsive therapy?

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can provide rapid, significant improvements in severe symptoms of several mental health conditions. ECT is used to treat: Severe depression, particularly when accompanied by detachment from reality (psychosis), a desire to commit suicide or refusal to eat.

How effective is Electroconvulsive therapy for schizophrenia?

Compared with medications, it starts to work faster (often within a week), especially with older people. ECT can reduce chances of relapse as long as you undergo follow-up treatments. In one study, 77% of people with schizophrenia responded favorably to ECT.

How often do ECT treatments make you feel better?

HOW MANY TIMES WILL I NEED TO BE TREATED? 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.

Can ECT damage your brain?

Despite many scientific and governmental authorities having concluded that ECT does not cause brain damage, there is significant evidence that ECT has indeed caused brain damage in some patients, both historically and recently, and evidence that it always causes some form or degree of brain damage.

Does ECT reset the brain?

ECT has been referred to as a reset button for the brain, which not only directly improves depressive symptoms, but also allows current medications to work more effectively.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of electroconvulsive therapy?

The Pros & Cons Of ECT

However, ECT does have several disadvantages. First and foremost, the treatment requires sedation, making recovery complex and much longer. Second, ECT has a higher chance to cause serious side effects for some individuals, including memory loss, which can deter potential patients.

How does ECT reduce depression?

How Electroconvulsive Therapy Works. With ECT, an electrical stimulation is delivered to the brain and causes a seizure. For reasons that doctors don’t completely understand, this seizure helps relieve the symptoms of depression. ECT does not cause any structural damage to the brain.

What advantages does ECT hold over the other treatments for depression?

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.

When should ECT not be used?

Do not use electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) routinely for people with moderate depression but consider it if their depression has not responded to multiple drug treatments and psychological treatment.

What happens when ECT doesn’t work?

If nothing else has helped, including ECT, and you are still severely depressed, you may be offered neurosurgery for mental disorder (NMD), deep brain stimulation (DBS) or vagus nerve stimulation (VNS).

Why is ECT a controversial treatment?

Reasons for Controversy

Three reasons are given for the aversion: 1) ECT is considered old-fashioned and politically incorrect; 2) it is forced on the patient; and 3) the memory disturbances are so severe and persistent that no rational human being would undergo this procedure, no matter how well-intended.

Does ECT change 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.

Can ECT make you worse?

ECT may have a role in people who have comorbid depression and anxiety. The concern of some psychiatrists is that while ECT may help with depressive symptoms, it could worsen anxiety symptoms, including obsessional thoughts or panic attacks.

Does ECT cause memory loss?

Many people experience memory loss after having ECT. Some people find this only lasts for a short time and their memories gradually return as they recover from ECT.

Can ECT cause psychosis?

A common cause of psychotic symptoms such as hallucination, delusions and thought disorder after ECT may also occur in the course of delirium-type impaired consciousness [1013].

Can ECT cause dementia?

Although ECT can cause transient memory problems, the new findings show that the treatment “does not cause dementia,” author Martin Balslev Jrgensen, DMSc, professor of clinical psychiatry, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, told Medscape Medical News.

Does ECT improve sleep?

The main results were an increase in sleep efficiency and a decrease in the number of awakenings within the course of ECT in the entire patient group. Significant increases in slow wave sleep and REM sleep duration and a significant decrease in REM density were only seen in stable remitters and not in non-remitters.

Is ECT ethical?

Results. ECT research is ethically justified and should always continue to be conducted with the highest ethical standards. ECT research entails few ethical peculiarities such as involving multiple sessions were capacity to consent can change. It would be unethical not to conduct ECT research.

Which is more effective ECT or TMS?

Success rates / patient responses One study found that ECT was slightly more effective than TMS but that patients prefered TMS over ECT. Side effects ECT patients report more significant side effects. TMS patients report minor and short-lived side effects.

What to expect after ECT?

After the Procedure

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 is electroconvulsive therapy NHS?

Electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) is a physical treatment carried out under a general anaesthetic. A stimulus is passed across the brain for a few seconds to produce a small artificial seizure which affects the brain, including the parts that control thinking, mood, appetite and sleep.

Why was shock therapy used in asylums?

Shock Therapies

Brought to the United States by Manfred Sakel, a German neurologist, insulin shock therapy injected high levels of insulin into patients to cause convulsions and a coma. After several hours, the living dead would be revived from the coma, and thought cured of their madness.

What part of the brain does ECT target?

A great deal of research has been performed pertaining to the neuroplastic effect of ECT in patients with MDD. Moreover, significant modulations in volume of brain substructures such as hippocampus, amygdala, anterior cingulate gyrus and medial and inferior temporal cortex have been reported with ECT.

Is ECT good for anxiety?

Electroconvulsive therapy is effective in the acute treatment of major depressive disorder patients associated with anxiety symptoms. Anxiety symptoms improved less than depression symptoms during acute electroconvulsive therapy.

Is ECT worth the risk?

Risk Assessment of Electroconvulsive Therapy in Clinical Routine: A 3-Year Analysis of Life-Threatening Events in More Than 3,000 Treatment Sessions. Background: Extensive research has reported that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can be highly effective in approximately 80% of patients suffering from depression.

Who benefits more ECT?

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.

Why is ECT a last resort?

The seizure is induced in a very controlled fashion, using a fairly precise delivery of an electric current. Dr Davey says ECT is seen as a treatment option of last resort, to be used when nothing else has worked, or when there isn’t time to find the right medication for a patient, a process that can take months.

Who should not get ECT?

Not everyone is a candidate for treatment even if they believe ECT could help them. For example, children under age eleven cannot undergo ECT for mental health disorders. People with heart conditions and people who cannot handle short-acting sedatives or muscle relaxers should not undergo ECT treatments.

Is ECT the same as shock therapy?

What Is ECT? Also known as electroshock therapy, ECT is a brain stimulation treatment that sends controlled electric currents directly into your brain to intentionally trigger a mild generalized seizure in an effort to forcefully reset your brain.

Is ECT cruel?

But while it was preferable to the chemical alternative, ECT could still be, by many accounts, cruel. The seizures could lead patients to thrash about wildly and even break bones, and was generally an extremely unpleasant experience, Sadowsky said.

Can you have ECT against your will?

Can I be treated against my will? Under Section 2, you can’t refuse treatment. However some treatments can’t be given to you without your consent unless certain criteria are met. These treatments include electro-convulsive therapy (ECT).

How has electroconvulsive therapy changed over the years?

In the 1950s and 1960s, the widening adoption of modified ECTwhich includes the use of a muscle relaxant and general anesthesiahelped bolster acceptance of the treatment. The muscle relaxants eliminated the convulsions associated with seizures and therefore greatly reduced the risk of injuries.

Can ECT cause dissociation?

The dissociative disorders also involve disturbances of memory, as well as consciousness and personal identity, but are rarely iatrogenic. We report a case in which dissociative symptoms developed after ECT.

Can ECT cause aphasia?

A brief period of aphasia is an extremely rare and likely underreported adverse effect of electroconvulsive therapy. Clinical studies that have described this phenomenon are scarce and its prevalence is unknown.

Can ECT be given under Mental Capacity Act?

Can I be given ECT if I am detained under the Mental Health Act? You can accept or refuse ECT if you have the mental capacity to make the decision about your treatment. A medical professional will certify that you have agreed to the treatment and that you have the mental capacity to make this decision.

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