Electroshock Therapy


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electroshock therapy

[i′lek·trō‚shäk ′ther·ə·pē]
(medicine)
Treatment of mental patients by passing an electric current of 85-110 volts through the brain.

Electroshock Therapy

 

(also electric shock, or electroconvulsive, therapy), a treatment for mental illness by which convulsions are produced by electrical irritation of the brain. Electroshock therapy was introduced in 1938 by the Italian physicians U. Cerletti and L. Bini as a variation of shock treatment. The procedure involves the use of a special apparatus that permits regulation of the voltage (from 60 to 120 volts) and duration (in tenths of a second) of an electric current sent through the brain by means of electrodes attached to the head. The electric current produces a convulsion, after which the patient often falls asleep.

It is not fully understood how electroshock therapy works. It has been theorized that it is similar to stress. Therapy is carried out daily or every second or third day. In connection with the growth of psychopharmacology, electroshock therapy is rarely used, mainly in the treatment of prolonged depressions for which psychotropic drugs are ineffective. Relaxants are used to avoid complications, for example, bone fractures or dislocations.

References in periodicals archive ?
The press is heralding the revival of electroshock therapy to be "miraculous," and critics of the procedure complain that not enough patients are being warned of ECT's serious aftereffects.
She described electroshock therapy as "invasive, annoying and painful .
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Research using modern imaging studies a few years ago found that the area functions differently - it becomes overactive - in people who are chronically depressed and have tried everything from medication to electroshock therapy.
Frame had already endured over 200 rounds of electroshock therapy and many years in asylums; those early stories saved her mindquite literallyand began her long and prolific career.
As it becomes clear that any period of tranquility will be temporary, Diana is convinced by her doctors (double-cast Louis Hobson) to try hypnosis and electroshock therapy.
Disclosures by reporters that he had been treated for depression and exhaustion and had electroshock therapy became such an issue that it forced Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern to drop Eagleton from the ticket, about a week after he was selected.
Tom Eagleton as George McGovern's running mate on the Democratic presidential ticket after Eagleton revealed he'd been hospitalized three times for depression and once undergone electroshock therapy.
Treating these individuals with electroshock therapy lowers their norepinephrine concentrations-and their heart rate and blood pressure too, scientists find.
Carr's experience in an asylum, where a doctor treats her "hysteria" with electroshock therapy and forced masturbation, teaches her to hid herself.
Part of her "treatment" involved hundreds of doses of electroshock therapy.
Next up could be another troubled soul, Electroboy, about a manic-depressive who tries electroshock therapy.