What is an ECT scan?

Overview. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a procedure, done under general anesthesia, in which small electric currents are passed through the brain, intentionally triggering a brief seizure. ECT seems to cause changes in brain chemistry that can quickly reverse symptoms of certain mental health conditions.

What does ECT do to the brain?

WHAT IS ECT? During ECT, a small amount of electrical current is passed through the brain while the patient is under general anesthesia. This current causes a seizure that affects the entire brain, including the parts that control mood, appetite, and sleep.

How is an ECT done?

Procedure Details ECT causes the patient to have a seizure. Electrodes are placed on the patient’s scalp and a finely controlled electric current is applied, which causes a brief seizure in the brain. Because the muscles are relaxed, the seizure will usually be limited to slight movement of the hands and feet.

Does an ECT hurt?

In a 1986 survey of 166 patients who had received ECT, psychiatrists C.P.L. Freeman and R. E. Kendell of the University of Edinburgh found that 68 percent reported that the experience was no more upsetting than a visit to the dentist. For the others, ECT was more unpleasant than dentistry, but it was not painful.

Who qualifies for ECT?

Who can get ECT in California? Any adult age 18 or older with an appropriate clinical diagnosis and who is capable of giving voluntary informed consent can receive ECT. Others, including adolescents between 13 and 17 years of age, may receive ECT after special reviews and legal procedures are followed.

Why is ECT given?

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a procedure that uses a mild electrical current to cause a brief seizure. This treatment effectively treats severe mental health conditions, including depression, schizophrenia, and more.

Does ECT change your personality?

ECT does not change a person’s personality, nor is it designed to treat those with just primary “personality disorders.” ECT can cause transient short-term memory — or new learning — impairment during a course of ECT, which fully reverses usually within one to four weeks after an acute course is stopped.

Can ECT change your personality?

What mental illness does ECT treat?

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a medical treatment most commonly used in patients with severe major depression or bipolar disorder that has not responded to other treatments.

Can ECT erase your memory?

An Almost Forgotten ECT Study in Rats A group of researchers at Rutgers University led by Dr. Donald J Lewis showed that ECT might be able to specifically erase fear memories. The researchers first made rats associate a tone with a fearful memory by playing this tone as they electrically shocked the rats’ feet.

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