How effective is ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) in the treatment of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)?
Many individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder go on to have depression as they are distressed by their symptoms of flashbacks and nightmares. Some can also become suicidal.
ECT can help in these situations. Following ECT, suicidal ideations abate and the mood also becomes stabilised. ECT may also help to improve the formation of nerve cells in the hippocampal area of the brain. This may help in the laying down of new memories.
However, more studies need to be done to show if ECT helps to relieve the recall of traumatic events and the persistence of flashbacks.
Dr Ng Beng Yeong
MBBS, MMed (Psychiatry), FAMS
MOUNT ELIZABETH MEDICAL CENTRE
#15 - 05 Singapore 228510
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