ECT - Electroconvulsive history

Electroconvulsive therapy aka Electro-shock therapy aka ECT was first introduced in 1938 by Italian neuropsychiatrists Ugo Cerletti and Lucio Bini, and gained widespread use as a form of treatment
in the 1940s and 1950s.

ECT is a psychiatric treatment in which seizures are electrically induced in anesthetized patients for therapeutic effect. Its mode of action is unknown.

As early as the 16th century, agents to produce seizures were used to treat psychiatric conditions. In 1785, the therapeutic use of seizure induction was documented in the London Medical Journal. Convulsive therapy was introduced in 1934 by Hungarian neuropsychiatrist Ladislas J. Meduna who induced seizures
with camphor and later metrazol (cardiazol).

Polish-Austrian-American psychiatrist Manfred Sakel treated schizophrenic patients with large doses of insulin to produce comas and sometimes convulsions. His methods were soon taken up by other psychiatrists.

Insulin shock therapy or insulin coma therapy (ICT) was a form of psychiatric treatment in which patients were repeatedly injected with large doses of insulin in order to produce daily comas over several weeks.

Introducing the new therapy

In 1937, the first international meeting on convulsive therapy
was held in Switzerland by the Swiss psychiatrist Muller. ECT soon replaced metrazol therapy all over the world because it was cheaper, less frightening and more convenient. Cerletti and Bini were nominated for a Nobel Prize, but didn't receive one.

Much of the stigma attached to ECT is based on early treatments
in which high doses of electricity were administered without anesthesia, leading to memory loss, fractured bones and other serious side effects.

Siemens konvulsator III

In the United States, ECT treatments are generally given two
to three times weekly for three to four weeks — for a total of six to twelve treatments. The number of treatments you'll need depends on the severity of your symptoms and how rapidly they improve.

In Canada, an estimated 75,000 ECT treatments are delivered annually. For reasons no one really knows, ECT seems to be particularly effective in the elderly.


Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) at the Mayo Clinic

or maybe magnetic seizure therapy (MST) would be better?


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