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How does electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) work in treating depression?

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An electrical stimulation is delivered to the brain and causes a seizure. For reasons that doctors don't completely understand, this seizure helps relieve the symptoms of depression. ECT does not cause any structural damage to the brain.

SOURCES: American Psychiatric Association, , 2000. Cadieux, R.J., , December 1998. Compton M.T., , Psychiatry II, 2003. Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: "Finding Peace of Mind: Treatment Strategies for Depression and Bipolar Disorder" and "Guide to Depression and Bipolar Disorder." Fochtmann, L.J. and Gelenberg, A.J., , Winter, 2005. Folkerts, H.W., , 1997. Glass R.M., , March 14, 2001. Keller, M.B., , 2005. Stimmel, G., , July 2002.








Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Major DepressionAmerican Family PhysicianACP MedicineFocusActa Psychiatrica ScandanaviaJAMAJournal of Clinical PsychiatryPsychiatric Times

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on May 11, 2018

SOURCES: American Psychiatric Association, , 2000. Cadieux, R.J., , December 1998. Compton M.T., , Psychiatry II, 2003. Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: "Finding Peace of Mind: Treatment Strategies for Depression and Bipolar Disorder" and "Guide to Depression and Bipolar Disorder." Fochtmann, L.J. and Gelenberg, A.J., , Winter, 2005. Folkerts, H.W., , 1997. Glass R.M., , March 14, 2001. Keller, M.B., , 2005. Stimmel, G., , July 2002.








Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Major DepressionAmerican Family PhysicianACP MedicineFocusActa Psychiatrica ScandanaviaJAMAJournal of Clinical PsychiatryPsychiatric Times

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg on May 11, 2018

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How many sessions of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) are required in treating depression?

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