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What is the full form of ECT


ECT: Electroconvulsive Therapy

ECT stands for Electroconvulsive Therapy. It is a therapy in which mental disorders are treated using electric current. In this therapy, electric current is used to produce brief convulsions in patients. Due to the involvement of electric current, it is also referred to as shock treatment.

Fullform ECT

ECT was first used in 1938. It is mainly used to treat severe depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. It is also recommended for the people who have symptoms like delusions, hallucinations or when other treatments and medicines are not working.

In this therapy, before applying the electric current, the patient is put in a sleepy state through anesthesia and medicines are given to relax the muscles. Then electrodes are placed on the skull to apply the therapy which may last up to 8 seconds. It produces a short seizure in the brain. Immediately following the therapy, the patient may temporarily experience nausea, headache, jaw pain and short-term memory loss, etc. The frequency of this treatment may vary from person to person, depending on the nature of illness and an improvement after each session. On average, patients undergo 6-12 sessions of ECT.

Types of ECT

ECT is basically of two types: Unilateral and Bilateral.

  • In unilateral ECT, one electrode is placed on top (vertex) of the head and another is placed on the right side of the skull.
  • In bilateral ECT, electrodes are placed on both sides of the head.

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