Terapia elettroconvulsivante. Razionale per lo sviluppo di future linee guida da parte dell'Associazione Italiana per la Terapia Elettroconvulsivante (AITEC)

Translated title of the contribution: Electroconvulsive therapy. Rationale for the development of future guidelines by the Italian Association for Electroconvulsive Therapy (AITEC)

A. Conca, R. Pycha, G. Giupponi, G. Sani, Athanasios Koukopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Many guidelines describe the theory and practice of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). From a scientific and clinical point of view, ECT is an effective treatment for severe depressive episodes and depressive syndromes resistant to other treatments. Furthermore, ECT has been proven useful in schizophrenic, schizoaffective disorders and in manic episodes resistant to other treatments. ECT has an important indication in malignant catatonia. It causes transient adverse effects. Of special importance for the patient are memory disturbances which sometimes persist after the end of the treatment. Results: The new methods of administering the electric stimulus, its continuous adaptation during the treatment cycle and the discontinuation of medications that potentially might interfere with cognitive processes reduce the intensity and frequency of memory loss. In any case, they are always reversible. ECT has a high safety profile and does not cause structural brain damage, according to the most recent studies. There are no absolute contraindications to ECT. Conclusion: The risk of mortality is linked to risks inherent in anaesthesia and it is, however, very low, i.e., 1:30,000. The combined administration of ECT and psychotropic drugs is considered essentially safe. ECT comprises various specific and selective mechanisms of action. Specific neurobiological and neurochemical changes take place in precise brain areas, induced by the epileptic seizure and conditioned by the wave shape of the electrical stimulus, the charge used, the position of the electrodes and the number of treatments.

Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)504-522
Number of pages19
JournalItalian Journal of Psychopathology
Volume13
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007

Fingerprint

Electroconvulsive Therapy
Guidelines
Therapeutics
Catatonia
Psychotropic Drugs
Memory Disorders
Brain
Depressive Disorder
Psychotic Disorders
Epilepsy
Schizophrenia
Electrodes
Anesthesia
Safety
Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Terapia elettroconvulsivante. Razionale per lo sviluppo di future linee guida da parte dell'Associazione Italiana per la Terapia Elettroconvulsivante (AITEC). / Conca, A.; Pycha, R.; Giupponi, G.; Sani, G.; Koukopoulos, Athanasios.

In: Italian Journal of Psychopathology, Vol. 13, No. 4, 12.2007, p. 504-522.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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