Cure for Pakistan: ECT on elderly
Professor: 67 percent of elderly are depressed; ECT could be a “useful treatment”
December 13, 2007
‘ECT — most useful to treat depression’
Daily Times, Lahore Pakistan
LAHORE: Despite all myths and misconceptions, electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) also known, as electric shock treatment, is most effective treatment to treat depression, said Dr Ashar Khan, Bond University, Australia.
He was delivering a lecture on ECT – An Evidence-based Approach on Monday at the University of Health Sciences (UHS). UHS vice chancellor Prof Malik Hussain Mubashir, senior professors and postgraduate medical students attended the lecture.
Highlighting the history, types and procedure of ECT, Dr Ashar said it had been shown clinically to be the most effective treatment of severe depression and to result in improved quality of life in both short and long-term. He said ECT was also being used in the treatment of mania, catatonia, schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease.
Dr Ashar said it was widely accepted that ECT did not cause brain damage, though its side effects included confusion and memory loss around the time period of the treatment. He maintained that the treatment was also safe during pregnancy.
He informed the audience that ECT was generally reserved for use as a second-line treatment for patients who had not responded to drugs. The first-line use of treatment, he said, was for situations where immediate clinical intervention needed or alternative treatments were not advisable. Its effectiveness had not been demonstrated in substance abuse, anxiety or personality disorders, he added.
Dr Ashar said hundreds of thousands of people across the world had received ECT every year, usually in a course of 6-12 treatments administered 2 or 3 times a week. After the treatment, he said, drug therapy could be continued and some patients received continuation/maintenance ECT.
Prof Malik said about 67 percent elderly people in Pakistan were suffering from depression. He said for these people ECT could be a useful treatment. He said ECT was useful in ischemic heart diseases than tricyclic anti-depressants.
Prof Haroon and Prof Riaz Bhatti also spoke on the occasion.
Categories: ECT Information