Treating bipolar affective disorder

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7282.365/a (Published 10 February 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:365

ECT is effective

  1. Max Fink (mafink@attglobal.net), emeritus professor of psychiatry and neurology
  1. State University of New York at Stony Brook, PO Box 457, St James, NY 11780, USA
  2. Department of Psychiatry, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP

    EDITOR—The editorial by Young et al on the treatment of bipolar affective disorder makes no reference to the benefits of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).1 The authors do a disservice to their patients and to the BMJ's readers by neglecting to mention ECT and by overstating the benefits of new treatments that have not been tested sufficiently.

    The merits of ECT in resolving both mania and depression were so well documented by 1940 that they justified its widespread, worldwide acceptance. 2 3 A review of literature published over five decades found that 66% of patients went into remission or showed marked clinical improvement of bipolar …

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