electroconvulsive therapy

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electroconvulsive therapy

in psychiatry, treatment of mood disorders by means of electricity; the broader term "shock therapy" also includes the use of chemical agents. The therapeutic possibilities of these treatments were discovered in the 1930s by Manfred Sakel, a Polish psychiatrist, using insulin; L. J. Meduna, an American psychiatrist, using Metrazol; and Ugo Cerletti and Lucio Bini, Italian psychiatrists, using electric shock. Metrazol and insulin accounted for a very limited number of remissions in cases of schizophrenia. However, the injection of insulin often caused coma, while Metrazol and electric shock resulted in convulsions similar to those of epileptics.

Advances in electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) have made it the standard mechanism of shock therapy. ECT has had unquestionable success with involutional melancholia and other depressive disorders, although it may be ineffective or only temporarily effective. ECT is generally employed only after other therapies for depression, mania, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia have proven ineffective. The administration of anesthetics and muscle relaxants prior to ECT has greatly reduced the risk of injury during the procedure, which is typically administered six to eight times over a period of several weeks. The seizure lasts for up to 20 seconds, and the patient can be up and about in about an hour. Long-term memory loss is the main significant potential side effect; headache, muscle stiffness, and temporary short-term memory loss may occur. Why ECT works, however, is still not understood, but it may be due to changes in brain chemistry caused by procedure, such as neurotransmittersneurotransmitter,
chemical that transmits information across the junction (synapse) that separates one nerve cell (neuron) from another nerve cell or a muscle. Neurotransmitters are stored in the nerve cell's bulbous end (axon).
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 released in the brain, or to a reduction in brain activity in certain areas after the procedure.

Bibliography

See A. S. Hermreck and A. P. Thal, The Adrenergic Drugs and Their Use in Shock Therapy (1968); L. B. Kalinowsky and H. Hippius, Pharmacological, Convulsive, and other Somatic Treatments in Psychiatry (1969).

electroconvulsive therapy

[i¦lek·trō·kən¦vəl·səv ′ther·ə·pē]
(psychology)
The technique of eliciting convulsions by applying an electric current through the brain of a human or an experimental animal for a brief period by means of electrodes that are placed on the head; sometimes used as a treatment for severe mental depression.
References in periodicals archive ?
Seizures were evoked by supramaximal electroshock stimulation of 150 mA, 50 Hz for 0.
Electroshock is taking place from 29 August to 4 September.
The electroshock device has been seized from the suspects' house.
From my experience of 35 years, I have noticed that every patient that [has undergone] electroshock treatment does not respond to any medication," Labban said.
Maximal Electroshock Seizure (MES) test: The duration of THLE in each group of mice is tabulated in the table.
As if all that violence were not sufficient, the police will now be able to use electroshock guns if needed, news agencies reported.
He said the eight assaulted policemen said that they had discovered mobile phones in one of the cells, and when they confiscated them, along with a police officer, detainees attacked them and caused them various injuries, forced some doors open, damaged some electric appliances and put them into the water they had poured into corridors in an attempt to Electroshock them, but the policemen cut electricity and restored order.
Their lives have been interconnected since childhood, with Syd suffering electroshock punishment and forced labor when Knox misbehaves or is reckless.
Police are pushing for all frontline officers to be armed with controversial electroshock weapons, but an investigation has revealed that some have been used at younger and younger targets.
The defibrillator is used to provide life-saving electroshock treatment for people who suffer a heart attack or cardiac arrest.
The man reportedly refused orders to surrender upon law enforcement's arrival, so an officer discharged his electroshock weapon--but it "was not effective," according to the CHP.
The Metropolitan Police also denied a taser electroshock weapon had been "deployed" by one of their officers in the aftermath of the attack on Mr Diarrassouba, after footage emerged on YouTube of tension between police and the crowd at the crime scene.