electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) [e-lek″tro-kon-vul´siv]
a treatment for mental disorders in which an electric current is used to produce convulsions. It is used primarily to treat depression
or the depressive phase of bipolar disorder
; it has also been used to treat some forms of schizophrenia
and acute mania
. This method does not provide the patient with any insight; therefore antidepressants
are the treatment of first choice for depressed persons. However, those who do not respond to medication or are unable to take it often experience dramatic improvement after electroconvulsive therapy. Formerly called electroshock therapy
The procedure begins with administration of an intravenous anesthetic such as methohexital
to induce general anesthesia and a muscle relaxant such as succinylcholine
to prevent a peripheral seizure that could carry the risk of bodily injury. Electric current is then applied unilaterally to the brain through an electrode placed on the skull. The goal is to produce a seizure in the central nervous system without causing any of the frightening manifestations of a grand mal seizure
; modern techniques using EEG recordings while administering ECT make this possible. Side effects occasionally include acute confusional state upon recovery from general anesthesia, which may last up to an hour. There may be a loss of memory, particularly of recent events. Basic principles of preoperative and postoperative nursing care apply.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
ECT Abbreviation for:
emission computed tomographic
Emory Cardiac Toolbox
enteric coated tablet
euglobulin clot test
European compression technique
exercise challenge test
Experiential Cognitive Therapy
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
ECT Electroconvulsive therapy, see there.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Abbreviation for electrochemotherapy;
energy conservation techniques.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012
Electroconvulsive therapy sometimes is used to treat depression or mania when pharmaceutical treatment fails.
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Abbreviation for electroconvulsive therapy; electroshock therapy.
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012
Patient discussion about ECT
Q. What is the ECT method of treatment for depression? I have a friend who is suffering from major depression and is now about to start ECT treatment. What exactly is that?
A. ECT is the electroshock therapy for treating severe depression that does not heal with medication trials. In this treatment, an electric shock is induced, in levels that are not by any means risking the patient’s life. It has been proven to be of great effectiveness in people with refractory depression (meaning that drugs no longer have a therapeutic effect) and is saved as a “last resort”.
Q. What are the side effects of electroconvulsive therapy for depression? My sister is about to have electroconvulsive therapy for treating her severe depression. Is this method safe to use? What are the side effects?
A. Known side effects of ECT include mainly short-term memory loss, disorientation and headaches. Other adverse effects are common, as are long-term memory and other neurocognitive deficits, which may persist. The American Psychiatric Association and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence have concluded that the evidence they had suggested that the procedure, when administered according to their standards and without complications, does not cause brain damage in adults.
Q. HOW CAN ENERGIES AFFECT THE HEALING OF THE BODY?CHI, ELOPTIC, YOU'R SEVEN SHOCKERS ECT POSITIVE OR NEGITIVE? ENERGIES WE EXPRESS AND RECIEVE TO AND FROM OTHERS
A. Chinese medicine and alternatives should be approached with caution, but that said, a modality that has been around for over 3,000 years must have benefits. The practitioner may possibly be a bit more suspect. Then again, nothing ventured, nothing gained. If you haven’t any experience with it, how can one have a legitimate opinion? More discussions about ECT
Remember, a hundred years ago, our very own “Doctors” cured with leaches and such… it wasn’t until they pooled their resources together and lobbied the government for the right to the name of “Doctor or Medical Practitioner”. That’s it. No science, just lobbying the politicians….
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