electroconvulsive therapy


electroconvulsive therapy
electroconvulsive therapy n the treatment of mental disorder and esp. depression by the application of electric current to the head of a usu. anesthetized patient that induces unconsciousness and convulsive seizures in the brain abbr. ECT called also electric shock, electric shock therapy, electroshock therapy

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a treatment for severe depression and occasionally for schizophrenia and mania. A convulsion is produced by passing an electric current through the brain. The convulsion is modified by giving a muscle relaxant drug and an anaesthetic, so that in fact only a few muscle twitches are produced. The means by which ECT acts is not yet known. The procedure can also produce confusion, loss of memory, and headache, which almost always pass off within a few hours. These side-effects are reduced by unilateral treatment, in which the current is passed only through the nondominant hemisphere of the brain.

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(ECT) a treatment for mental disorders, primarily depression, in which a seizure in the brain is induced by application of a brief pulse of low-voltage alternating current to the brain via scalp electrodes. A general anesthetic and a muscle relaxant, generally succinylcholine, are used to prevent injury during the seizure. Awakening usually occurs within 5 to 10 minutes and may be followed by a temporary confusional state; transient memory impairment may be present for weeks to as much as a year after treatment. ECT produces a therapeutic response in a majority of cases of major depression.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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  • Electroconvulsive therapy — Intervention ICD 10 PCS GZB ICD 9 CM 94.27 …   Wikipedia

  • electroconvulsive therapy — [ē lek΄trōkən vul′siv, i lek΄trōkən vul′siv] n. ELECTROSHOCK THERAPY …   English World dictionary

  • Electroconvulsive Therapy —    (ECT)    (from 1938)    Although medicine had known applications of electricity for mental symptoms since the late eighteenth century, only in the mid 1930s did the accelerating interest in somatic therapies sparked by the success of insulin… …   Historical dictionary of Psychiatry

  • electroconvulsive therapy — noun A biomedical therapy for severely depressed patients in which a brief electric current is sent through the brain of an anesthetized patient, abbreviated ECT. Syn: shock therapy …   Wiktionary

  • electroconvulsive therapy — noun the administration of a strong electric current that passes through the brain to induce convulsions and coma • Syn: ↑electroshock, ↑electroshock therapy, ↑ECT • Hypernyms: ↑shock therapy, ↑shock treatment, ↑electrotherapy, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • electroconvulsive therapy — noun Date: 1948 electroshock therapy …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • electroconvulsive therapy — /i lek troh keuhn vul siv, i lek /, Psychiatry. a treatment for serious mental illnesses, as severe depressive disorders, involving the application to the head of electric current in order to induce a seizure: usually administered after sedatives …   Universalium

  • electroconvulsive therapy — /əˌlɛktroʊkənˈvʌlsɪv θɛrəpi/ (say uh.lektrohkuhn vulsiv theruhpee), /i / (say ee ) noun a type of psychiatric therapy in which an electric shock is administered to the brain, used mainly in treatment of depression; shock treatment. Abbrev.: ECT …   Australian English dictionary

  • electroconvulsive therapy — ECT. A treatment for severe depression and certain mental disorders. A brief seizure is induced by giving electrical stimulation to the brain through electrodes placed on the scalp. Also called ECT and electroshock therapy …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • electroconvulsive therapy — e|lec|tro|con|vul|sive ther|a|py [ ı,lektroukənvʌlsıv θerəpi ] noun uncount ECT …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English