Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) improves mood, quality of life and activities of daily living in patients with major depression, according to researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, "Quality of life and function are improved in ECT patients as early as two weeks after the conclusion of ECT," said Vaughn McCall, M.D., professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine and the lead author, writing in the November issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.
ECT is a treatment for severe mental illness, especially major depression, in which a brief application of electric stimulus – a shock – is used to produce a generalized seizure. "ECT produces a net improvement in health for most patients, and should help fill the knowledge gap that recently led to more restrictive guidance on the use of ECT in the United Kingdom," said McCall. "A restrictive attitude toward ECT is not warranted."
Britains National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) last year recommended sharp restrictions on the use of electroconvulsive therapy "until more information is available about ECTs effect on memory, quality of life and other pertinent health outcomes."
Karen Richardson | EurekAlert!
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