Northside Group
Part of Ramsay Health Care

Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT)

Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT) is a treatment for severe episodes of major depression, mania and some types of schizophrenia. It involves the use of a brief, controlled electrical current to produce a seizure within the brain. This seizure activity is believed to bring about certain biochemical changes that may cause symptoms to diminish or even disappear. A series of treatments, generally 6 to 12, at a rate of 3 per week, is required although sometimes a smaller or larger number may be necessary.

ECT is an effective and safe treatment, and can often offer fast results for patients where other treatments (such as medications) have not helped. Although there is no guarantee with any treatment, ECT appears to be most effective in major depression, where up to 80% of patients report positive effects.