Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) sends an electronic current through the brain. This current causes brief seizure activity. This causes changes in brain chemistry. ECT can reduce symptoms associated with severe depression and other mental health conditions.
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ECT is commonly used to treat:
- Severe depression that does not respond to medication or that causes serious symptoms, like psychosis and suicidal thoughts
- Severe mania that does not respond to medication
In some cases, ECT may also be used for other mental or neurological conditions.
Last reviewedJune 2013by Rimas Lukas, MD; Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.