Shock Therapy: New Understanding and Old Ignorance
WASHINGTON, DC–Speaking at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington, DC on November 14, 2017, Dr. Wendy Marie Ingram, Psychiatric Epidemiologist at the Geisinger Medical Institute in Pennsylvania, presented new research on the effects of anesthesia on electroconvulsive therapy (ECT or shock therapy). The results help answer long-standing questions about the controversial treatment, but social stigma surrounding ECT impede efforts to crack the medical mystery of how ECT works.
“The first person I saw was a male,” Ingram says, describing the first person she observed receiving ECT. “The previous week he was completely nonresponsive [catatonic]—couldn’t even respond to his name.” The anesthesiologist inserted a soft rubber guard into the man’s mouth to prevent him from biting his tongue, and …
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