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Author Topic: How does electroconvulsive therapy work?  (Read 2664 times)

James Miller

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How does electroconvulsive therapy work?
« on: 17/06/2008 09:39:03 »
James Miller  asked the Naked Scientists:

I was wondering if you could explain to me what ECT is, how it is supposed to help the patient, and what some of the negative effects are?
Thanks, James

P.S. I love the show.

What do you think?


 

Offline RD

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How does electroconvulsive therapy work?
« Reply #1 on: 20/06/2008 13:44:23 »
There is debate as to whether it is an effective treatment...
Quote
ECT has been dogged by conflict between psychiatrists who swear by it, and some patients and families of patients who say that their lives have been ruined by it. It is controversial in some European countries such as Holland and Italy, where its use is severely restricted
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electroconvulsive_therapy

The general anesthetic which patients are given before ECT may be responsible for the improvement in symptoms,
e.g. in cases of mania, (the jump-start may be unnecessary). 

Quote
Certain types of ECT have been shown to cause persistent memory loss
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electroconvulsive_therapy

If the psychiatric disorder is due to past traumatic events then erasing those memories would cure the condition,
(this erasure would not be specific to distressing memories).
« Last Edit: 20/06/2008 14:42:24 by RD »
 

Offline OldDragon

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How does electroconvulsive therapy work?
« Reply #2 on: 20/06/2008 15:49:54 »
The general anesthetic which patients are given before ECT may be responsible for the improvement in symptoms,
e.g. in cases of mania, (the jump-start may be unnecessary).

On the other hand, could the general anaesthetics be responsible for having the reverse effect, and even when no ECT applies?

I ask because of my own personal experiences of two general anaesthetics within a month and any possible connections with the spasms and symptoms that I have mentioned previously on this forum?

Quote
Certain types of ECT have been shown to cause persistent memory loss
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electroconvulsive_therapy

If the psychiatric disorder is due to past traumatic events then erasing those memories would cure the condition,
(this erasure would not be specific to distressing memories).

I'm going to keep this at a purely personal level, and as someone in recovery from PTSD and with a background in psychology, surely it is better to expose the past traumas in order that they and the associated fears can be faced and dealt with in a supportive environment, and the patient/client have the opportunity to empower themselves and enter recovery without the intervention of treatments such as ECT or prescriptive medication administered at the hands of someone that has never had first had experience of the conditions they are attempting to treat, thus further disempowering the patient and placing them at a considerable risk of further damage?

I know what I would prefer - and the evidence of that is here to be seen and witnessed on this forum, and within the last 24 hours, too, for anyone able to make the connections.

Life is a journey of games and challenges, many of them extreme and life threatening, and yet frequently unrecognised. I am personally very grateful that someone viewing this forum recognised a need of mine last night and had the courage to take action. That included personal intevention and, some might say, laying their own life on the line to assist me and well out of consulting room hours.

I rest my case. ;)
 

Offline rosalind dna

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How does electroconvulsive therapy work?
« Reply #3 on: 23/06/2008 12:16:25 »
I have heard that ECT can affect the long-term memory and as a
result that ordinary everyd day memories can be damaged like
how to make your bed, housework and even speech might be affected.

But it is or was used for manic depression/bipolar illnesses.

Have I got this right or wrong?
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

How does electroconvulsive therapy work?
« Reply #3 on: 23/06/2008 12:16:25 »

 

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