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The role of electroconvulsive therapy in the treatment of bipolar disorder 

The role of electroconvulsive therapy in the treatment of bipolar disorder
Chapter:
The role of electroconvulsive therapy in the treatment of bipolar disorder
Author(s):

Roumen Milev

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198748625.003.0027
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date: 20 August 2019

This chapter examines the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for treatment of patients with bipolar disorders. It briefly reviews the basics of ECT, stimulus parameters, placement of electrodes, and seizure threshold. The data for efficacy and tolerability of ECT for bipolar disorder, including mania, depression, mixed states, and across the lifespan is reviewed. Although there is a paucity of good-quality randomized studies, all available data, including case reports and naturalistic observations, support the use of ECT in this population, and reinforce the widespread use of ECT in everyday clinical practice. Good-quality randomized control trials are urgently needed to address numerous unanswered questions, in order to improve efficacy and reduce side-effect burden of one of the best treatments for bipolar disorder.

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