Category Archives: Techniques

ECT: what do you wake up from?

When someone undergoes electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), what do they wake up or come round from afterwards? Some patient information leaflets are explicit:  “They [qualified staff] can help you with the process of waking up from the anaesthetic…” (Royal College of … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s, Miscellaneous, Techniques | 2 Comments

ECT in the BJP: a small world

The British Journal of Psychiatry has just (March 2021) published an article with the title “Electroconvulsive therapy for depression: 80 years of progress”. I do not have access to the article so will limit my comments to the authors, the … Continue reading

Posted in Electrical parameters, Gender ECT, Techniques | 2 Comments

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

Posted in 1970s, ECT in the UK, ECT machines, Electrical parameters, Techniques | 1 Comment

Sham ECT in Brazil

The May 2020 edition of Schizophrenia Bulletin contains a brief article about electroconvulsive (ECT) versus sham ECT in São Paulo, Brazil (“M40. ECT versus sham for clozapine resistant schizophrenia: a secondary analysis of a pilot study based on PANSS-30 factor … Continue reading

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More ECT and ketamine at St Patrick’s Hospital, Dublin

They never give up. Following the epic failure of a study of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and the drug ketamine at St Patrick’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland, in which no-one made it through to the end of the trial, Professor Declan McLoughlin … Continue reading

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Another mention of ECT in The New Yorker

The 25 February 2019 edition of The New Yorker magazine included an article by Sam Knight with the title “The psychiatrist who believed people could tell the future”. It was about John Barker, a British psychiatrist who was interested in … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s, ECT in the media, ECT in the UK, Electrical parameters, Legal cases, Techniques | Leave a comment

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

Posted in 1970s, ECT in the media, ECT in the UK, ECT machines, Electrical parameters, Techniques | 2 Comments

ECT and ketamine: the Manchester study results

The Manchester ECT and ketamine study has featured several times on this blog (just type ketamine into the search box and the posts will appear). The study is funded to the tune of about a million pounds by the National … Continue reading

Posted in ECT in the UK, Techniques | 2 Comments

Unilateral v bilateral ECT in Ireland

In my last post I mentioned a study published nearly fifty years ago, in 1968, in the British Journal of Psychiatry (M. Valentine, K.M.G. Keddie and D. Dunne, “A comparison of techniques in electro-convulsive therapy”). The authors concluded that unilateral … Continue reading

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The FDA and ECT: nothing new under the sun

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States has issued one of their periodic proposals to reclassify ECT machines in a lower risk category (for treating depression in adults). The draft guidance document contains recommendations (nothing legally binding) on how … Continue reading

Posted in ECT worldwide, Electrical parameters, Techniques | 1 Comment