Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Electroshock Therapy and brain damage

A new study concerning Electroshock Therapy (ECT) hopefully will at least provoke discussion. The results of this study seem to confirm that the use of ECT can lead to brain injury. Unfortunately, such therapy has been touted as a cure-all for depression that there may be a great deal of resistance to the results of this study among the medical community.

Though ECT has been in use for more than 70-years in Pittsburgh and other areas, there has been little understanding on how it actually works concerning various illnesses such as depression. And unfortunately, the most commonly used form of ECT has also been shown to be the most potentially damaging when it comes to the frontal lobes of the brain.

Essentially, ECT cuts the functioning connectivity of the frontal lobes with the rest of the brain. Why ECT has sometimes worked for patients suffering from depression is because such individuals often have increased activity among the frontal lobes. ECT damages the frontal lobes and thus decreases that activity. However, such damage can be permanent.

The success rate of ECT has also probably been overstated. Depressive activity does go down immediately after an electroshock in administered. However, what it is replaced with is apathy and indifference. In other words, ECT may simply destroy a patient's personality at the same time it decreases depressive activity.

Like so many medical treatments that remain untested, the cure is often worse than the disease. When treatments are administered without in exploration of all of the available and often safer options, medical professionals are guilty of medical malpractice. Such medical providers need to be held accountable by injured patients and their attorneys to assure that only the safest of practices are administered.

Source: Huffington Post, "New Study Confirms Electroshock (ECT) Causes Brain Damage," by Dr. Peter Breggin, April 9, 2012

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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