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Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is the application of electrical current to the brain to produce a grand mal seizure under controlled conditions in order to treat certain mental health disorders. ECT is used for severe or treatment-resistant depression, and it is also used to treat acute mania; ECT is a highly efficacious treatment for catatonia. It is one of the most efficacious mental health treatments—almost twice as likely to succeed as a first medication trial and close to three times as likely to succeed as a second medication trial for treatment of depression. There are many mechanisms by which ECT may work; therapeutic mechanisms presumably involve the firing of large numbers of neurons and the release of multiple neurotransmitters, along with the biochemical and homeostatic events ...

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