McKinney – Patients experiencing debilitating depression, bipolar disorder, or other severe mental illness that has not responded to traditional therapy have a new medical treatment option available at Medical City McKinney. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is proven to be a safe and effective outpatient treatment for severe, medication-resistant depression.

ECT is performed under general anesthesia and uses a small, controlled electrical impulse to induce a brief stimulus to the brain. The electrical impulse causes a change in the brain’s chemistry, affecting the patient’s mood and leading to improvement.

“ECT is one of the safest and most effective treatments for patients that experience resistant depression and have failed multiple medications,” says Aditya Sharma, MD, medical director for Medical City McKinney’s outpatient behavioral health services. “Patients who will benefit most from ECT are those that tend to relapse back into depression quickly and have had several hospitalizations.”

ECT can be effective for:

  • Refractory depression
  • Psychosis
  • Bipolar depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizoaffective disorder

Several treatments are required for significant improvements. Some may require long-term maintenance, all of which is tailored to an individual’s needs.

“Studies have shown that less than half of patients go into complete remission with antidepressant medications. For patients with treatment resistant depression, ECT has high efficacy and is a safe treatment option” says Dr. Sharma. “It changes lives.”

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