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Electroconvulsive Therapy - Essay Example

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The power "Electroconvulsive Therapy" describes that electroconvulsive therapy or ECT is a method of induction of epileptic fits by passing electrical current through the brain. The use of ECT for affective disorders and untreatable severe depression gained momentum in the 1960s…
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Electroconvulsive Therapy
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Electroconvulsive Therapy

Download file to see previous pages... Research has shown that release of certain brain chemicals and stimulation of growth of new blood vessel in certain areas of the brain probably helps the improvement of the condition of the patient ECT is given in a hospital setting in special set rooms called 'ECT Suite'. The current is delivered to the brain of a patient in a controlled way using a special ECT machine. The patient is given an anesthetic so that he is not conscious during the procedure. A muscle relaxant is also given to prevent serious injuries due to muscle spasms. The duration of seizures aimed at is 20 to 50 seconds long. If the current is passed across the whole brain, it is known as bilateral ECT. If it is passed across one side, it is unilateral. A patient will need on average 6 to 8 treatments to complete a course. The procedure of giving ECT involves several weeks. The patient develops several epileptic seizures and receives many anesthetics. There are many side effects for this treatment. Short-term side effects include a headache, muscle ache, feeling of muzzy headedness, feeling sick, distress and feeling fearful. However, most patients can tide over this form of therapy with support from nursing staff, light refreshment, and painkillers. In older patients, confusion can occur. There is the small risk of death of 1 in 50,000 cases. the main impact of ECT is long term. The most important long-term side effects are memory problems. Memories return in most of the cases when the course has finished and a few weeks have passed by. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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