Electro-convulsive therapy
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Home > Psychiatry & Mental Health > Electro-convulsive therapy
Electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) is a well-established, extremely effective and safe treatment in which seizures are electrically induced in anaesthetized patients for therapeutic effect.

Today, ECT is most often used in treatment resistant
• Depression
• Mania (often in bipolar disorder)
• Catatonia and schizophenia

It was first introduced in the 1930s

Today, an estimated one million people worldwide recieve ECT every year usually in a course of 6-12 treatments administered 2or3 times a week.

ECT not known to give rise to long term side effects.

It is safe in all three trimesters in pregnancy.

Relative contraindications include recent cerebro-vascular accident (stroke), heart disease and phaeochromocytoma.

Procedure:
• Intra-venous access
• Patient is ventilated
• Short acting intra-venous anaesthetics
• Intra-venous muscle relaxant
• Brain stimulation (unilateral /bilateral electrode placement) 

Mechanism of action: 
• Increase blood supply to brain
• Down grading of anxiety (beta) receptors
• Increase brain derived neurotropic factor (BDNF)
• Formation of new blood vessels in the brain

 
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NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR MENTAL HEALTH
Resource Centre - Colombo 08
No. 96/20, Kitulwatta Road,
Colombo - 08.
Sri Lanka
Tel +94 112 685 960 / +94 114 339 606-7
Fax +94 112 685 950
Email council@ncmh.lk
 
NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR MENTAL HEALTH
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Sri Lanka
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Email council@ncmh.lk
         
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