Doctors plan study to replace electroshock with medication
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), also known as electroshock therapy, is a popular method of treatment for patients suffering from severe depression and suicidality because of its quick effect on the patient.

However, its side-effects such as short-term memory loss and the risks associated with the administration of general anaesthesia, which is mandatory for ECT, is also well-known.

Now, the psychiatry department of Civil Hospital, Sola, has planned a study that aims to understand the effect of a common anaesthetic drug Ketamine in place of ECT for patients with severe depression and suicidality. Doctors associated with the proposed study claim that Ketamine, because of its rapid anti-depressant effect, can be an alternative for patients requiring ECT.

According to the hospital's head of the psychiatry department Prakash Mehta, ECT is the preferred choice for patients with severe depression and suicidality because of its quick effect. These patients cannot be dealt with other forms of treatment such as psychotherapy, counselling, and intensive treatment, as it takes 2-3 weeks to show visible improvement in patients' condition.

"Since there is a constant threat of the person committing suicide or harm oneself, we render ECT in multiple sessions, which can provide relief to such patients within 3 days. However, ECT has its own side-effects along with other side-effects such as nausea, headache, fatigue, and confusion, due to the administration of general anaesthesia. In such cases, Ketamine can be used as an alternative treatment because it produces faster results, has lesser side-effects, requires less or shorter hospitalisation, and is less expensive," Mehta said.

The doctor also said patients do not like to undergo ECT because of the stigma associated with it. Moreover, some patients cannot be given ECT because general anaesthesia cannot be administered to them due to their health condition and other ailments.

Source:https://www.dnaindia.com/health/report-doctors-plan-study-to-replace-electroshock-with-medication-2784992
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