What is the role of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in the treatment of bipolar affective disorder (manic-depressive illness)?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: Stephen Soreff, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is useful in a number of instances in patients with bipolar disorder, or manic-depressive illness (MDI), such as the following [3] :

  • When rapid, definitive medical/psychiatric treatment is needed

  • When the risks of ECT are less than that of other treatments

  • When the bipolar disorder is refractory to an adequate trial with other treatment strategies

  • When the patient prefers this treatment modality

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