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Does Electric Shock Therapy Work

Brain Damage: Tms Doesnt Cause Brain Damage

ECT Electroconvulsive Therapy – WVU Medicine Health Report

There is no evidence of pathological change in brain tissue resulting fromTMS treatmentdelivered within the safety ranges. Published data show exposure to accelerated dosing generally appears safe as well. Studies in animals, as well as studies of subsequently resected anterior temporal lobes of humans subjected to direct cortical stimulation or TMS, have failed to demonstrate evidence of histotoxicity . The maximal field strength generated by commercially available stimulators is in the 2 Tesla range. The field is induced for a brief period only and the fields strength falls off rapidly with distance from the coil. There is no evidence of adverse effects from magnetic field exposure during TMS.

The immediate side effects of the procedure which may last for about an hour include:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches and soreness
  • Disorientation and confusion

Patients may also develop memory problems. Memories formed closer to the time of ECT are at greater risk of being lost while those formed long before ECT are at less risk of being lost. The ability to form new memories is also impaired after a course of ECT treatments but this ability usually makes a full recovery in the weeks and months following the last treatment.

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Potential Outcomes Of Shock Therapy

Most people who undergo ECT will see a noticeable change in their symptoms. Some people will notice an immediate improvement after one session. However, it is more common to not see or feel a significant difference in symptoms for several sessions.

Some people only need to undergo a series of shock therapy treatments once, while other people may need additional treatments to maintain the benefits.

ECT is much safer than it used to be, but it is still a medical procedure that can have side effects. You may go home feeling groggy from the anesthesia or have a headache, feel nauseated, or have general aches and pains.

It’s also possible to experience some memory loss. For example, you might not remember what you had for dinner the night before or know which car you rode to your appointment in. While it can be disorienting, the memory loss after ECT is usually temporary.

Can You Make Your Wishes About Having Ect Known In Advance

If you have feelings about ECT, either for or against, you should tell the doctors and nurses caring for you. You should also tell friends, family or anyone else you would like to support you or speak for you. Doctors must consider these views when they think about whether or not ECT is in your best interests.

If, when you are well, you are sure you would not want ECT if you were to become ill again, then you may want to write a statement of your wishes. This can be known as an advance decision in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, or an advance statement in Scotland. These wishes should be followed except under very specific circumstances. This is a complicated topic and beyond the scope of this resource.

Some people who have previously been successfully treated with ECT have found it so helpful that they have recorded ahead of time that they want to have ECT if they become ill again, even if they say at the time that they do not want it.

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Ect Is About 10 Times Safer Than Childbirth

This was partly due to the rise in prescription drugs though these were often less effective in severe depression and partly due to the bad press ECT received in books, films, and the mass media. In the 1970s, historians David Healy and Edward Shorter write in their book Shock Therapy, a growing anti-psychiatry movement spearheaded by the Church of Scientology claimed that ECT destroys minds.

Demonstrators rally in favour of a 1977 bill to warn patients of ECTs risks

There is no conclusive evidence of this. In 1991, after performing ECT on 35 depressed patients, Edward Coffey and his colleagues at Duke University concluded, Our results confirm and extend previous imaging studies that also found no relationship between ECT and brain damage.

Memory loss, however, is an issue that many scientists and scientologists agree on, at least to a degree. Although memories lost to ECT usually return within a few weeks, there are reports of permanent losses. Like treating any other disease or operation, the possibility of health has to be weighed against that of harm.

The important question here isnt whether ECT is good or bad a miracle or an evil but whether it can help people who truly need it. And there is ample evidence showing that it isnt just an effective treatment but, in some cases, the best we currently have.

Electricity And The Brain

Electroconvulsive therapy being used on teens in NHS trusts

In ECT, a voltage is applied to two electrodes placed on the patients head. This voltage, as high as 460 volts, creates an electric field inside the patients skull. This electric field puts a force on the electrons inside the brain, causing them to move. This movement of electrons is a current flow of up to 900 milliamperes. By contrast, brain cells normally operate with less than one-half of a volt and a fraction of one milliampere.

Two things happen when an electric current flows through the brain. The first is heating. Electrical energy is converted into heat inside the brain, raising its temperature. The larger the current, the more heat is produced. If the temperature gets too high the cells will suffer temporary injury, permanent damage, or even death.

It is the cell wall that holds the cells contents inside and keeps everything else out. This membrane contains electrically charged molecules which are also affected by the ECT-produced electric field . If the voltage is high enough, the resulting forces can tear holes in the cell wall. This process is called electroporation, the production of pores by electrical means. It is the second effect that electricity can have on the brain.

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When Is Ect Used

People with major depression typically first receive antidepressant medication and psychotherapy. These treatments, though often effective, take time to work. This delay can be dangerous for patients whose depression is accompanied by delusions or intense suicidal thoughts. ECT can work much more quickly than antidepressants and is useful when patients are at immediate risk for self-injury or suicide.

ECT may also be prescribed when antidepressant medications have not worked. It can be useful for older patients who are unable to tolerate antidepressants and for pregnant women in whom medication might damage the fetus. People suffering from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia may also benefit from ECT.

Ect Is Not A Last Resort

For patients with psychotic depression and catatonia, and an accompanying high risk of complications such as self-harm, ECT should be considered as a first-line treatment.

We often dont see a patient until after they have lost their job, isolated themselves, and maybe even made a suicide attempt and ended up on the inpatient unit, said Seiner. Wed rather see them earlier and prevent all those things because its a lot easier to put your life back together when you dont have to start all over.

Its not something someone would typically choose to do right away, but I think it also depends on the severity of their illness, added Bolton, noting some patients are so severely depressed or suicidal that ECT is necessary to get them better quicker.

No matter the course of treatment, the most important step any patient or family member should take is to learn the pros and cons. Bolton said they should meet with clinicians to review risks and benefits.

Equally important is to speak directly with other patients. McLean offers monthly support groups with nurses and patients, open to people before and after treatment.

The more we talk about ECT and real-life stories and what a difference it makes in peoples lives, the better, because it helps to develop strategies to help people cope during treatment, said Bolton.

Welch believes medical schools have an important role to play in the education of patients and the public.

Today Neville has the same goal.

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Can Depression Return If You Stop Treatment

Even when treatment such as ECT, TMS, vagus nerve stimulation, or other alternative therapies is successful, depression can return. Psychotherapy and/or maintenance antidepressant medication can help prevent depression from coming back. Psychotherapy does this by correcting the beliefs, perceptions, and behaviors that contribute to your depression. If you do experience recurring symptoms, dont hesitate to seek help again.

Shock Therapy Makes A Quiet Comeback

Shock Wave Therapy For Erectile Dysfunction – Fact or Fiction? | [UWave]

When Bill Russell tells people that his severe depression was relieved by shock therapy, the most common response he gets is: “They’re still doing that?”

Most people might be quicker to associate electroshock therapy with torture rather than healing. But since the 1980s, the practice has been quietly making a comeback. The number of patients undergoing electroconvulsive therapy, as it’s formally called, has tripled to 100,000 a year, according to the National Mental Health Association.

During an ECT treatment, doctors jolt the unconscious patient’s brain with an electrical charge, which triggers a grand mal seizure. It’s considered by many psychiatrists to be the most effective way to treat depression especially in patients who haven’t responded to antidepressants. One 2006 study at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina found that ECT improved the quality of life for nearly 80 percent of patients.

“It’s the definitive treatment for depression,” says Dr. Kenneth Melman, a psychiatrist at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle who practices ECT. “There aren’t any other treatments for depression that have been found to be superior to ECT.”

In fact, antidepressants the most widely used method for treating depression don’t work at all for 30 percent of patients.

But some doctors and past patients say that the risks of shock therapy, such as memory loss, are too high a price to pay for the temporary benefits.

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Can Doctors Give Me Ect If I Dont Consent To It

In certain situations, doctors can give you ECT without you agreeing to it. These are if you:

  • lack the mental capacity to consent , or
  • need emergency treatment under the Mental Health Act. See further down this page for more information.

What does lacking mental capacity to consent mean?

Doctors can give you ECT if you lack the mental capacity to make a decision about your treatment. This is called making a best interests decision. A best interest can only be considered for you if you lack mental capacity in line with the Mental Capacity Act.

A best interests decision to give you ECT can be made, even if you are not detained under the Mental Health Act. But this is very rare. Doctors should consider your views and views of your family, carers. They also need to consider the views of people who can make a legal decision on your behalf before they decide to treat you.

If you dont have anyone who can give their opinion about your treatment you should have an independent mental capacity advocate to help. An IMCA is free to use and dont work for the NHS.

The Court of Protection can make a decision if there are disagreements about if ECT would be in your best interests.

But ECT shouldnt be given if you have a valid advance decision in place to refuse ECT. See further down this page for more information.

You can find more information about

  • Mental capacity and mental illness by clicking here.
  • Mental Health Act by clicking here.
  • Advocacy by clicking here.

What Are The Advantages Of Ect

ECT has many advantages that make it a critical tool for treating mental health conditions.

  • It is extremely effective. Experts agree that ECT is one of the most effective treatments for mood disorders like depression. It is also especially effective at helping people with depression that resist other forms of treatment like medication or therapy.
  • It is very safe. The use of anesthesia and other modern care practices have greatly improved this procedure’s overall safety. Even people who have heart problems can often receive ECT with adjustments to their medication or close monitoring of their vital signs.
  • It is very safe in pregnancy.
  • It works quickly. People who receive ECT typically see improvements in their symptoms, especially with conditions like major depressive disorder, after three to five treatments. Thats especially helpful when a person has a very severe mental health condition that puts their safety in jeopardy.
  • It can help people when other treatments are unavailable. People who cant take medications for mental health conditions for any reason can often still receive ECT. This can make a big difference for people with organ function problems or people who are pregnant .
  • Its especially effective in combination with medication. People receiving ECT often also receive medications for treatment, which can further improve the chances that their mental health condition will improve.

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How Long Do You Have To Undergo Shockwave Therapy

One of the continuing issues with shockwave therapy is the treatment time requirement and cost. These treatments typically cost between $300 and $600 dollars per session in a clinician’s office, with multiple sessions required. In one of the longer experiments listed above, the number of required treatment sessions was 12, though similar results have been seen with fewer visits. Since most insurance plans dont cover this therapy, it can get fairly expensive quickly.

For the most part, shockwave therapy requires at least one treatment per week over the course of six weeks. Results should be experienced within the first three months, but may occur as early as the first few weeks of treatment.

Some urologists claim the effects of shockwave therapy can last for up to two years, whiles others indicate the effects will last only six months before re-treatment is required.

Health Benefits Of Electromagnetic Pulse Therapy

Experts Call For Immediate Suspension Of ECT, Others Push Back ...

As you can see, electromagnetic pulse therapy is a powerful form of treatment that everyone should incorporate into their daily lives for maximum benefits.

Throughout the article, we have mentioned some of the most common health benefits that this therapy can give us.

Let us now go into more detail on some of the most well-known and -documented science-backed electromagnetic pulse therapy health benefits.

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How Shock Therapy Feels

When you awake from the anesthesia, you may be confused and tired. You will likely experience short-term memory loss around the time of the procedure. With multiple treatments, this may increase. Adverse cognitive effects tend to be the most concerning factors around ECT and tend to affect the frequency and duration of treatments and whether ECT is offered at all. Your vital signs will be monitored closely after the shock treatment to ensure proper recovery. You may feel head, muscle or back pain. Such discomfort tends to be relieved by mild medications. If any post-treatment effect is concerning you, you should talk to the treating physician immediately.

But Some Doctors Are Worried About The Idea Of Shocking Your Entire Body At Once

Doctor Nicola Maffiuletti and his colleagues at the Schulthess Clinic in Zurich, Switzerland say a 20-year-old patient was rushed to their hospital with muscle damage after his electric shock session in August 2015. He was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis and had to stay in the hospital for five days.

Rhabdomyolysis can result from all kinds of overexertion, but it’s especially a concern in warm weather and for previously untrained people. You can also experience rhabdomyolysis from spinning or any other kind of intense exercise especially if you are unprepared.

It’s still not clear how worried the general public should be about this, though, because electric shock workouts doses are completely unregulated something that troubles Maffiuletti and his colleagues.

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Why Does Ect Work

No one is sure how ECT helps certain psychiatric disorders. It may promote changes in how brain cells communicate with each other at synapses and it may stimulate the development of new brain cells. ECT may flood the brain with neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which are known to be involved in conditions like depression and schizophrenia.

What Should My Doctor Tell Me About Ect

How does ECT work?

Your doctor should tell you about the risks and possible benefits of having ECT.

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence recommends that your doctor should give you an information leaflet to help you decide if you want ECT.

The leaflets should:

  • include information about the risks of ECT,
  • explain alternative treatments, and
  • be available in different languages and formats.

Ask your doctor for information on ECT.

Your doctor should document both the risks and benefits of ECT. As part of the assessment the doctor will think about:

  • the risks of having an anaesthetic,
  • whether you have other illnesses,
  • the possible side effects of ECT, and
  • the risks of not having ECT.

What are the risks if I decide not to have ECT?

Risks might be:

  • you are a serious risk to yourself, or
  • you are a serious risk to other people.

Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about ECT.

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How Does Ect Work

The effects of ECT gradually build with each treatment. ECT causes the release of certain brain chemicals, which seem to stimulate the growth of some areas in the brain that tend to shrink with depression.

ECT also appears to change how parts of the brain which are involved in emotions interact with each other. There is ongoing research in this area to help us to understand more about how ECT works.


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