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Can electroconvulsive therapy help treat depression in older adults?

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When medication and psychotherapy don’t seem to make a difference in your symptoms, your doctor may recommend electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). It involves passing a brief small electrical current through electrodes placed on your scalp while you are under general anesthesia. This causes a brief seizure. That seizure causes a change to the chemistry in your brain. Researchers believe that change helps with your depression.

SOURCES:

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Depression in Older Adults,” “Types of Antidepressants.”

National Institute of Mental Health: “Older Adults and Depression.”

CDC: “Mental Health and Aging.”

Mental Health America: “Depression In Older Adults: More Facts.”

National Institute on Aging: “Depression and Older Adults.”

Health In Aging: “Depression.”

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence: "Depression in adults: recognition and management."

Mayo Clinic: "Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)."

Grand Valley State University: "Depression in the Elderly: Risk Factors and Treatment."

Reviewed by Jennifer Casarella on October 25, 2019

SOURCES:

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Depression in Older Adults,” “Types of Antidepressants.”

National Institute of Mental Health: “Older Adults and Depression.”

CDC: “Mental Health and Aging.”

Mental Health America: “Depression In Older Adults: More Facts.”

National Institute on Aging: “Depression and Older Adults.”

Health In Aging: “Depression.”

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence: "Depression in adults: recognition and management."

Mayo Clinic: "Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)."

Grand Valley State University: "Depression in the Elderly: Risk Factors and Treatment."

Reviewed by Jennifer Casarella on October 25, 2019

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What are some similarities between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression?

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