Ostroff, Robert B. Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
- Treatment dosing
- ECT-responsive disorders
- Side effects
- Mechanism of action
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The controlled induction of a grand mal seizure under anesthesia to treat individuals suffering from certain psychiatric illnesses. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) was introduced as a treatment for psychiatric disorders by the Italian neurologist Ugo Cerletti in 1938. Cerletti developed a method of electrically inducing seizures in laboratory animals as a means of studying epilepsy. Aware of the observation that individuals with epilepsy and depression experienced an improvement in mood following a seizure, he postulated that inducing a seizure in a depressed individual might improve his or her condition. In 1938, he reported the first case of a psychiatric patient treated with ECT with dramatic, positive results. See also: Affective disorders; Electrotherapy; Seizure disorders
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