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ECT for Mood Disorders 

ECT for Mood Disorders
ECT for Mood Disorders
Electroconvulsive Therapy in Children and Adolescents

Neera Ghaziuddin


This chapter describes the use of ECT in adolescents with mood disorders. Clinical data and controlled trials of antidepressants suggest that a substantial number of adolescents with unipolar or bipolar mood disorders do not respond to conventional treatment. Although there is no universally accepted definition at this time, these adolescents may be diagnosed with treatment resistant mood disorders (TRM). Criteria generally applied for using ECT are illness-severity-when waiting for response may jeopardize safety, or when there is failure to respond to several treatments- generally 2 or 3 adequate medication trials in addition to psychotherapy. There are no controlled trials of ECT in this age group. However, uncontrolled data indicate that the majority of adolescents either achieve euthymia (minimal or no symptoms) or are significantly improved. ECT may be successfully used in the presence of comorbid medical and psychiatric conditions. Several case vignettes are included.

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