China | World | Business | Entertainment | Sports | Photos
    Home>> Health

Short bursts of electric shocks to brain defeating depression: Australian researchers

来源: Xinhua 作者: 2015-07-22 16:29:43

  Sydney researchers say a new form of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) using short pulses of electricity, not sustained ones, is effective in treating people suffering depression.

  The ECT technique was devised in 1937 and extensively used around the world until it was discredited in the 1970s.

  But the treatment was refined and again was being used from the mid-1990s in the United States and other countries.

  Scientists at Australia's University of New South Wales (UNSW) announced on Wednesday they had further refined the technique and deduced short-term pulses of electric shocks to the brain are just as effective as longer shocks, which are currently the norm.

  ECT is seen as a last resort when conventional treatments and medications don't work on severely depressed people.

  "This new treatment, which is slowly coming into clinical practice in Australia, is one of the most significant developments in the clinical treatment of severe depression in the past two decades," said UNSW Professor of Psychiatry Colleen Loo.

  "Our analysis of the existing trial data showed that ultra- brief stimulation significantly lessened the potential for the destruction of memories formed prior to ECT, reduced the difficulty of recalling and learning new information after ECT and was almost as effective as the standard ECT treatment."

  ECT delivers a finely controlled electric current to the brain' s prefrontal cortex, an area that is underactive in people with depression.

  The current is delivered via electrodes on a patient's scalp while the patient is under general anesthesia.

  Before it was abandoned in the 1970s there were many lawsuits across the world as some patients were left with little memories and mental functions due to over-intensive delivery of electric shocks to their brains.

  It is estimated that up to 10,000 Australians with severe depression and who have not responded to first line treatments, such as medication, could benefit from the new treatment, Professor Loo said.

  "We are still working hard to change the broader medical profession's and general public's perception of ECT, which has struggled to shake off the tarnished image given to it by popular movies such as the 1975 film 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'," Professor Loo said.

  Trials involved more than 600 patients and the study was conducted in partnership with the Institute of Mental Health, Singapore.

Keywords:Sydney,ECT, pulses of electricity

 China's last gun-toting tribe China's last gun-toting tribe Some 2,500 residents of Basha Miao ethnic village in southwest China continue to preserve the traditional way of life .
Women hold up half the sky, but men own homesWomen hold up half the sky, but men own homes Why do housing prices keep hovering at high levels, if not continuing to soar in Chinese cities?
Chinese Movie Boom in 2016Chinese Movie Boom in 2016 In 2015, China's movie industry witnessed progress in almost every aspect of filmmaking.
China's Urbanization Choice: A Bet on ProsperityChina's Urbanization Choice: A Bet on Prosperity China recently hosted a strategic conference in its contemporary history of urban development of the last three decades.
Commentary: Resumption of China-Japan-South Korea summit conducive to solving Korean Peninsula issue Commentary: Resumption of China-Japan-South Korea summit conducive to solving Korean Peninsula issue The sixth China-Japan-South Korea leaders' meeting started in the South Korean capital of Seoul on Sunday, resuming the trilateral cooperation mechanism after a three-and-a-half-year suspension.
Premier calls for joint efforts to stabilize Korean peninsula Premier calls for joint efforts to stabilize Korean peninsula Premier Li Keqiang urged for joint efforts to stabilize the situation on the Korean peninsula to continue during his meeting with President of the Republic of Korea Park Geun-hye in Seoul on Saturday.
1 2 3 4 5 6