Electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) is a psychiatric treatment involving the use of electrically induced seizures in anesthetized patients for therapeutic purposes. Currently, ECT is most commonly used to treat patients suffering from severe, major depression that has failed to respond to other treatments (Benbow 2004). However, ECT is also used for the treatment of mania in bipolar disorder as well as catatonia (Benbow 2004). Typically, ECT is administered two to three times per week and consists of a regime of 6–12 treatment sessions.
Historically, the induction of seizures for therapeutic relief dates as far back as 1785, when it was first documented in the London Medical Journal (Rudorfer et al. 2003). However, it was not until 1937 that electricity was used to invoke seizures in humans (Fink 1984). ECT was subsequently popularized in the 1940s and 1950s as it was inexpensive, convenient, and less invasive than other forms of psychiatric treatment such as...
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