In recent years, ECT has much improved. Before treatment, which is done under brief anesthesia, patients are given a muscle relaxant. Electrodes are placed at precise locations on the head to deliver electrical impulses. The stimulation causes a brief (about 30 seconds) generalized seizure within the brain, which is necessary for therapeutic efficacy. The person receiving ECT does not consciously experience the electrical stimulus.
A typical course of ECT entails six to 12 treatments, administered at a rate of three times per week, on either an inpatient or outpatient basis. To sustain the response to ECT, continuation treatment, often in the form of antidepressant and/or mood stabilizer medication, must be instituted. Some individuals may require maintenance ECT (MECT), which is delivered on an outpatient basis at a rate usually of one treatment weekly, tapered off to bi weekly to monthly for up to one year.Pros for this therapy