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Seizure Induction in the Treatment of Neuropsychiatric Disorders

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Columbia Psychiatry NYSPI

Columbia Psychiatry NYSPI


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Stefan Rowny, MD Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatr
Joan Prudic, MD Professor of Clinical Psychiatry

1. ECT treatments started in late 30's 

2. Today's ECT is very different than from that of 15-20 years ago. Efforts to make the treatment more focal and physiologic consistent with normal functioning have resulted in a dramatic decrease in the memory loss that accompanied the treatment in its early decades. 

3. ECT has the highest success rate of all treatments for depression (There is a 40-60-% response rate with medications comparesd with a 75% response rate or higher with ECT)..

4. Current research focuses on understanding the areas of the brain that are related to symptoms, prediction of response, as well as further reduction of side-effects.

5. Magnetic seizure therapy (MST) is a new potential treatment with magnetically induced seizures that can target brain regions more selectively than ECT. 

6. Cognitive remediation, computer tasks that are like exercise for the brain, is being developed to prevent and mitigate the cognitive side effects of the treatment such as memory and problem-solving. Research is also looking at brain circuits to further define possibilities for making convulsive therapy easier to tolerate.

For further information on the Brian Behavior Clinic or to particpate in a research study, please call 646 774-8077


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