Posted by Blue Cheer 1 on January 11, 2002, at 18:19:29
In reply to Re: How does ECT Work? » Denise528, posted by bob on January 11, 2002, at 16:51:39
> Like all psychiatric intervention, including therapy, no one "knows" how it works. Look at the monograph for any psychoactive compound and you will see wording like, "the exact mechanism of action of this drug is unknown". Well, as far as I know, the same thing is true for ECT. It is accepted that the induction of a seizure in the brain somehow "resets" the balance of amines and hormones. It is the seizure which is the necessary and therapeutic component of ECT. More specifically, it is thought that only seizures affecting the centrencephalic structures of the brain, including the hyphothalamus and pituitary gland are truly beneficial. One view is that this activity increases the availability of important amino acids and peptides in the cerebrospinal fluid, thus making these important compounds/hormones more available to the brain tissue.
> If you are interested in ECT, you might want to read Max Fink's book, "Electroshock". It is reasonably up to date. Chapter 9 deals with the theories of how ECT might work. The major theory he puts forth he refers to as "The Neuroendocrine View".
> Coming back to my original point, however... it's all theory. What is apparent, however, is ECT's ability to bring people "back from the brink". What is also apparent is that it's level of effectiveness is different for each individual, including such things as amount of memory loss, and duration of effectiveness. In the short term, there seems to be no other treatment that works so quickly for so many people.
I wouldn't spend money on Dr. Fink's _Electroshock: Restoring the Mind_. It's available in many bookstores, and the few chapters worth reading can be read in less than one-half hour. I once asked Dr. Fink in an email if he thought ECT would "total" me. His reply: "Probably not." Well, thanks! :) No one knows the mechanism of action in ECT, but there are *many* who know its consequences. Try searching online for the 60 Minutes II broadcast on ECT, and then read some of the posts in response to it.
Here's one person's experience in an article I read today in a local weekly:
Once you have it, it can't be undone -- that's for sure.
poster:Blue Cheer 1