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When is electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) used to treat bipolar disorder?

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Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is sometimes used for severely manic or depressed patients and for those who don't respond to medication. It's also used for pregnant women who have symptoms. Because it can act quickly, it may be especially helpful for severely ill patients who are at high risk for attempting suicide. ECT fell out of favor in the 1960s partly due to distorted, negative portrayals of its use in the media. But modern procedures have been shown to be both safe and highly effective. The patient is first anesthetized and a muscle relaxant is given. Then, while the patient is asleep, a small electric current is passed through electrodes placed on the scalp to produce a grand mal seizure of short duration -- less than 1 minute. A course of treatment usually involves 6-12 treatments, typically administered three times per week. During the course of ECT treatments -- usually 2 to 4 weeks -- lithium and other mood stabilizers are sometimes stopped to minimize side effects. They're started again after you complete treatment.

SOURCES: 

American Psychiatry Association: 5.  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Kupfer, J. (editor). ., Current Psychiatry, 2004.  Bipolar Depression The Clinician's Reference Guide

Geddes, JR. , 2004.  American Journal of Psychiatry

McElroy SL. 2004. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 

Sidor, MM. 2012 Dec. Curr Psychiatry Rep.,

Tohen, M. , 2003Arch Gen Psychiatry

Tränkner, A. ., 2013.Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat

Salvi, V. , 2008. J. Clin Psychiatry

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 

 

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on November 08, 2017

SOURCES: 

American Psychiatry Association: 5.  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Kupfer, J. (editor). ., Current Psychiatry, 2004.  Bipolar Depression The Clinician's Reference Guide

Geddes, JR. , 2004.  American Journal of Psychiatry

McElroy SL. 2004. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 

Sidor, MM. 2012 Dec. Curr Psychiatry Rep.,

Tohen, M. , 2003Arch Gen Psychiatry

Tränkner, A. ., 2013.Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat

Salvi, V. , 2008. J. Clin Psychiatry

Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 

 

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on November 08, 2017

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What are the newer types of nonpharmocological treatments for depression and bipolar disorder?

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