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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: June 2019

Chapter 17 - Electroconvulsive Therapy and Neurostimulation

Summary

Electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) is the passing of an electric current between two scalp-applied electrodes to produce a short generalised seizure, repeated two or three times weekly. ECT was introduced to psychiatry in 1938 by Cerletti, and was quickly adopted around the world because of its effectiveness and the lack of other good treatments at that time [1]. While the use of ECT has declined over the last 30 years owing to the availability of pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatments, it retains a critical place in the management of patients resistant to pharmacotherapy or those who are severely unwell.