Category Archives: Miscellaneous

The Royal College ECT lecture: don’t mention its history!

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has created a template for a lecture on ECT. The lecture is designed to be given to a target audience which would include “Trust Boards, Clinical Commissioners, medical psychiatric trainees and associated health professionals new … Continue reading

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Lost in a sea of abbreviations

If you go to a doctor and say you feel depressed you might be diagnosed as having MDD (major depressive disorder) and prescribed an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). If that doesn’t work there is ECT (electroconvulsive therapy), or VNS … Continue reading

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The dark side of being a baby boomer

Three stories in the media in recent weeks have looked at how young people in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s experienced psychiatry. On Saturday 30 July the Guardian newspaper featured a story, taken from the ITV series Long Lost … Continue reading

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A shock by any other name

In the early days of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) doctors were not coy about using the term “electric shock”.  Here are a couple of examples: “The duration of the shock is variable, lasting about 0.35 sec” (from an article entitled “Cardiovascular … Continue reading

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75 years of electroconvulsive therapy

Last month saw the 75th anniversary of the first use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). On 18 April 1938, in Rome, Lucio Bini and Ugo Cerletti, who had been using electricity to produce experimental seizures in dogs, gave the first treatment … Continue reading

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ECT, memory and the Olympics

The Olympics are over for another four years. During the Olympic fortnight I only spotted one use of the word electroconvulsive (ECT) in the media coverage of the games. That was in an article by Clive James in the Daily Telegraph about … Continue reading

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10,000 electroconvulsive treatments

Last month it was announced that Dr Peter Rosenquist of Wake Forest University had been named Vice Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior of the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University, and would be … Continue reading

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