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U.S. studies risk of electroshock devices

Electroshock therapy sees resurgence for depression, other illnesses


 

U.S. regulators are currently studying whether to downgrade the risk classification of electroshock devices. Elecroshock therapy has seen a resurgence recently, and psychiatrists say it’s increasingly accepted: it’s used on about 100,000 Americans (two-thirds of them women) each year to treat major depression and other illnesses. In the treatment, anesthetized patients get a jolt of electricity from electrodes for several seconds, which induces a brain seizure and convulsions. The American Psychiatric Association and other specialists have recommended the Food and Drug Administration downgrade the devices to medium risk from high risk. That will be reviewed this week.

New York Times


 
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U.S. studies risk of electroshock devices

  1. This therapy which is called ECT is commonly used in Alberta to treat depression. In fact most psychiatrist and other health professionals would chose it to treat themselves because it is a very successful treatment – over 90% effective. It is also quick and painless. The only typical side effect is some memory loss. It is a preferred treatment for the elderly and pregnant women who have major depression because they cannot take anti-depressants safely.

  2. This therapy which is called ECT is commonly used in Alberta to treat depression. In fact most psychiatrist and other health professionals would chose it to treat themselves because it is a very successful treatment – over 90% effective. It is also quick and painless. The only typical side effect is some memory loss. It is a preferred treatment for the elderly and pregnant women who have major depression because they cannot take anti-depressants safely.

    • Rather like hitting the "reset button" – that is how it was explained to me.

      Can't imagin big pharma will like this development.

      • The electrical current causes a seizure which for some unknown reason cures depression. It usually takes up to 12 treatments. Some people also have maintenance treatments – one every month as they tend to slip back into the depressive state without it. The pharmaceutical companies are not threatened by ECT. It is not the first line treatment – patients usually try it only if medications have failed. As you can imagine, all those horror stories from earlier in the century when people were given ECT without anaesthetic or the additive that relaxes the muscles during the seizure – has made many people frightened of the treatment.

        • There's that and the fact that people spend their life's avoiding getting shocked by electricity. It's a visceral response, the same as a response to fire is. So not merely a bad impression from One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest.

  3. Rather like hitting the "reset button" – that is how it was explained to me.

    Can't imagin big pharma will like this development.

  4. The electrical current causes a seizure which for some unknown reason cures depression. It usually takes up to 12 treatments. Some people also have maintenance treatments – one every month as they tend to slip back into the depressive state without it. The pharmaceutical companies are not threatened by ECT. It is not the first line treatment – patients usually try it only if medications have failed. As you can imagine, all those horror stories from earlier in the century when people were given ECT without anaesthetic or the additive that relaxes the muscles during the seizure – has made many people frightened of the treatment.

  5. There's that and the fact that people spend their life's avoiding getting shocked by electricity. It's a visceral response, the same as a response to fire is. So not merely a bad impression from One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest.

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