Electroconvulsive Therapy, or more commonly referred to as ECT, is one of the most effective, yet the least understood procedures in modern medicine. This is often due to a misrepresentation by Hollywood movies, in addition to the stigma surrounding mental illness. But, in fact, ECT has a success rate of over 80% and can produce a rapid remission of symptoms within one to three weeks for a number of mental illnesses. Many do not realize that ECT is an actual medical procedure performed by a qualified psychiatrist, anesthesiologist and ECT nursing team.
ECT is approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and by the U.S. National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH). It is typically a covered service by insurance plans, including Medicare.
ECT is most commonly used to treat depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia (unresponsive to Clozapine) when ongoing treatment has not worked, including medications and talk therapy.How It WorksNo one is certain how ECT works, but we do know that it can change patterns of blood flow through the brain and change the metabolism of areas of the brain which may be affected by mental illness. It is believed that ECT causes a mega-release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, acetylcholine, GABA and others. Recent research has also suggested that ECT can help the growth of new cells and nerve pathways in certain areas of the brain. And, contrary to popular myths, ECT does not cause brain damage or a loss of brain cells.
- Studies show an average of 80% effectiveness
- In expert hands, 9 out of 10 patients are helped
- 1 of 3 psychiatric treatments shown to decrease the chance of suicide
- No drug to drug interactions
- No concerning side effects of several medications
- No sexual side effects
- No weight gain
- Covered by insurance companies
Advantages to Aurora's ECT Treatment Program
- Initial consultation available within 72 hours.
- Outpatient appointments can be scheduled in 24 – 72 hours.
- One of the few locations in the state to use the latest technology (MECTA SPECTRUM ULTRABRIEF® 5000Q®) which reduces short-term memory loss via its new optimized dosing parameters derived from the latest in clinical research. MECTA is also the only company to include the Duke University EEG seizure quality measures in its products.
- Providers include board certified and recertified ECT psychiatrist and board certified anesthesiologists. Team has worked together for over a decade.
- Family member/friend can meet with the ECT psychiatrist and anesthesiologist before each ECT treatment.
- Family member/friend can be with patient up until the time of anesthesia.
- ECT psychiatrist available to each patient after treatment for questions/concerns.
To learn more about our ECT treatment or to make a referral, call our 24/7 Patient Services Helpline at: 480.345.5420