Charting the course of electroconvulsive therapy: Where have we been and where are we headed?

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Abstract

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is one of the oldest and best treatments for severe mental illness. A safe and highly effective option for treatment-resistant mood disorders, ECT can be a lifesaving treatment for people suffering from catatonia and acute suicidality. Less recognized are the benefits of ECT in the treatment of primary psychotic disorders, Parkinson’s disease, and status epilepticus. Evidence from multisite clinical trials in the past decade shows an evolving standard for the delivery of ECT to achieve and maintain remission and quality of life. Today, the optimal practice of ECT is defined by evidence-based treatment planning, including patient selection, choice of electrode placement and stimulus parameters, augmentation with pharmacotherapy, and the use of continuation/maintenance treatment. Research into biomarkers and neuroplasticity related to ECT response, as well as new investigational methods of delivering ECT, provide a glimpse into the future of this time-tested treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-43
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services
Volume54
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

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Electroconvulsive Therapy
Therapeutics
Catatonia
Neuronal Plasticity
Status Epilepticus
Mood Disorders
Psychotic Disorders
Patient Selection
Parkinson Disease
Electrodes
Biomarkers
Quality of Life
Clinical Trials
Drug Therapy
Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health

Cite this

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abstract = "Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is one of the oldest and best treatments for severe mental illness. A safe and highly effective option for treatment-resistant mood disorders, ECT can be a lifesaving treatment for people suffering from catatonia and acute suicidality. Less recognized are the benefits of ECT in the treatment of primary psychotic disorders, Parkinson’s disease, and status epilepticus. Evidence from multisite clinical trials in the past decade shows an evolving standard for the delivery of ECT to achieve and maintain remission and quality of life. Today, the optimal practice of ECT is defined by evidence-based treatment planning, including patient selection, choice of electrode placement and stimulus parameters, augmentation with pharmacotherapy, and the use of continuation/maintenance treatment. Research into biomarkers and neuroplasticity related to ECT response, as well as new investigational methods of delivering ECT, provide a glimpse into the future of this time-tested treatment.",
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