How does electroshock therapy work

Electroconvulsive Therapy: Electricity against Depression

Status: 31.01.2017 11:42 a.m. | archive

If psychotherapy and medication do not have the hoped-for effect in depression and those affected increasingly lose the will to live, electroconvulsive therapy can be helpful. The brain is exposed to weak electric shocks for five to six seconds. The treatment is carried out under general anesthesia. A drug for muscle relaxation ensures that the sick do not injure themselves when they cramp.

Biochemical reactions in the brain

The limbic system with the hippocampus is at the center of the treatment. That is where the center of feelings is located. Scientists suspect that the seizure triggered by electricity triggers biochemical reactions: According to this, there is a massive release of messenger substances, in addition, new nerve cells form in the hippocampus and unhealthily linked areas of the brain unravel.

Usually several treatments are necessary

How quickly electroconvulsive therapy works varies. As a rule, a series of six to ten sessions is carried out first. Some sufferers also need several series before lasting success is achieved. It can then be useful to repeat it once a year or more often. To prevent relapses, most patients continue to need medication after successful electroconvulsive therapy.

Side effects mostly temporary

The most common side effects of electroconvulsive therapy are headaches. They occur in around a third of patients. In addition, there may be cognitive impairments, for example disorders of orientation, short-term memory and attention. Structural brain damage is not to be expected if performed correctly.

Chat log on the topic of depression

Controlled shock therapy can help patients recover from severe depression. Prof. Dr. Here Folkerts answered questions in the chat. The protocol for reading. more

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Visit | 01/31/2017 | 8:15 pm