Electroshock Therapy

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electroshock therapy

[i′lek·trō‚shäk ′ther·ə·pē]
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 ?
Louis, information was passed to him that Eagleton had undergone electroshock therapy for depression.
There is still a fierce debate over whether electroshock therapy was appropriate for young internet addicts or not.
20 "The MOTHERS Act" is named for Melanie Stokes, who committed suicide when 3 1/2 months postpartum, following "treatment" with electroshock therapy and myriad drugs, including antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and antipsychotics.
The manic-depressive con man, who became renowned for his sexual exploits, was finally treated with electroshock therapy.
Next up for Maguire could be another troubled soul Electroboy, about a manic-depressive who tries electroshock therapy.
Sterilization is more justifiable and more humane than involuntary electroshock therapy.
Right-wing ideology puts forward the premise that homosexuality is an enticing disease that people will catch if exposed, that it's a choice or temporary mental condition that must be overcome by counseling, prayer, coercion, abstinence, repression, or electroshock therapy.
Authorities could pick and chose from everything from electroshock therapy equipment to an assortment of vintage ice boxes, to a museum-size collection of minerals and a canvas device used by firefighters to catch people jumping from buildings.
They also urge researchers to examine more closely the effectiveness of antidepressants and electroshock therapy in individuals suffering from depression colored by anxiety.
TONIGHT'S documentary examines the controversial practise of electroshock therapy which has been used for decades.
Their new films reflect the same kind of nostalgia: for a time when going crackers made perfect sense to homosexuals (many of whom were subject to electroshock therapy themselves), and the movies offered larger-than-life surrogates through whom they could project their own angst.
In a "before and after" study of the effects of electroshock therapy on the brain, relying for the first time on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology, researchers found no changes in the brain structure of patients who had completed a course of the controversial treatment.