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

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.