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Patient receiving electroconvulsive therapy

Patient receiving electroconvulsive therapy

M700/0086

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Credit

WILL & DENI MCINTYRE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY WILL & DENI MCINTYRE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Patient being prepared for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) also known as electroshock therapy. This technique uses electric shocks to induce seizures as a treatment for severe depression. Anaesthesia and muscle-relaxant drugs are used to minimise movements and the effects of ECT are limited primarily to the brain. ECT is almost exclusively used to treat severe depressive illness that has become life- threatening because of accompanying weight loss and neglect. Electric pulses are transmitted to the patient via two padded electrodes applied to the temples. Treatment usually consists of six to twelve seizures.

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