Category Archives: ECT machines

ECT in Peterborough

BMC Psychiatry has just published an article about electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) from a team in Peterborough, UK.* The authors describe “an unusual case of a female patient with severe depression who did not respond to ECT until the 11th session, … Continue reading

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ECT at the Science Museum

Last year (June 2019) the Science Museum in London added an article to its website on “‘Heroic therapies’ in psychiatry.” The therapies in question are insulin coma therapy, chemical shock therapy, psychosurgery and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). There is a picture of … Continue reading

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Professor Allan Young makes a joke about ECT

Allan Young is professor of mood disorders at Kings College, London, where it says on his webpage: “Professor Young was recently ranked as one of the world’s leading scientific minds in the field of Psychiatry and Psychology, according to the … Continue reading

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News about ECT lawsuits

There has been recent (October 2018) news of two lawsuits involving electroconvulsive therapy. In the United States, ECT machine manufacturer Somatics LLC have made an out of court settlement to two plaintiffs from California. Represented by DK Law, the plaintiffs … Continue reading

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ECT in the Herald

When an article about electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) begins with a reference to the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest then it is unlikely that an intelligent discussion on the topic will follow. And this article from the Newcastle Herald … Continue reading

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ECT and the machine that wasn’t switched on

On 22 January 2018 the Birmingham Mail published an obituary of Tamworth GP Dr John Weston Smith, who had died aged 95. The obituary mentioned that he had provided anaesthesia for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) at St. Matthews Hospital in Burntwood. … Continue reading

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Lake Alice and the Ectron machine

While I was looking for information about the use of ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) in New Zealand I was reminded of Lake Alice and the legal case of former child patients. Lake Alice was a psychiatric hospital (closed in 1999) in … Continue reading

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The FDA and electroconvulsive therapy

Last week an advisory panel of the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted to keep electroconvulsive therapy devices in class III, the high-risk category which will require them to undergo further testing for safety and efficacy. This is … Continue reading

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How Britain switched to brief pulse ECT

When electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) was invented in the 1930s the machines used sine wave (ordinary household) current, and the two electrodes were put one on either side of the patient’s head. And that is the way most people who have had ECT … Continue reading

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Ectron Ltd: how the company emerged from experiments in a British asylum

In the early days of  electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), while some psychiatrists were trying to find ways to reduce the memory loss associated with the treatment, others were going off in the opposite direction and experimenting with “intensified ECT”. One of … Continue reading

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