Psych M.D. - Electroconvulsive Therapy


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Term: Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Definition (Myers): A biomedical therapy for severely depressed patients in which a brief electric current is sent through the brain of an anesthetized patient. 1
Definition (alternative): Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a procedure in which electric currents are passed through the brain, deliberately triggering a brief seizure. This seems to cause changes in brain chemistry that can alleviate symptoms of certain mental illnesses. Yet 70 years after it was first introduced, electoconvulsive therapy remains controversial. 2
Contextual explanation: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a method of treatment that is mostly used on mentally depressed people. The treatment consists of sending an electric shock into the patients' brain while he/she has taken in a certain dose of anesthesia. ECT without anesthesia has proven to be quite devastating in the past; it has caused serious mental and physical damage to the brain and also has even killed a few patients. By using ECT, the electric shock alters the chemicals in the brain because depression is linked with certain chemicals in the brain. By changing the order or arrangement of these chemicals, depression can be be terminated. The therapy originated after certain psychologists noticed that depressed people tended to behave in an optimistic way after going suffering epilepsy.
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Psych M.D. - Electroconvulsive Therapy - The Neuron4

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Sources: insert WAPA style citations here
  1. Myers, D.G. (2004). Psychology. New York City, New York: Worth Publishers.
  2. Mayo Clinic Staff, Initials. (1998). Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/electroconvulsive-therapy/MY00129
  3. crazydocal, Initials. (2007, July 7). Electroconvulsive Therapy. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYl13Relzbs
  4. Josh Clark, Initials. (1998). What are the five most prevalent forms of torture and why?. Retrieved from http://science.howstuffworks.com/five-forms-of-torture.htm/printable
Edited by: Jin

Date of last edit:
10/22/09



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