How Is Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Used To Treat Depression? To Answer This
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How is Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) used to treat depression? To answer this question, we must first answer these other questions: What is electroconvulsive therapy? When depression is diagnosed, which patients are suitable for ECT and which for psychotherapy? If not all depressed patients will respond to ECT, how are we to identify those likely to benefit?
Invented by Cerletti and Bini, in 1938, ECT was the first form of therapy that reliably reduced severe depression (Abrams and Essman, 1982). Electroconvulsive therapy is a technique for treating psychiatric patients, in which seizures similar to those of epilepsy are induced by passing a current of electricity through the forehead (Encarta, 1995).
Cerlitti started his experiments on dogs, applying electrodes to the mouth and anus. He did not want to try this experience on humans because half of the dogs being treated had died. Bini discovered that the reason for the dogs’ deaths was that the current was traveling str...
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