Brain therapy or brain stimulation therapy plays a vital role in the treatment of a number of a brain or mental disorders. These therapies are done by activating or stimulating the brain directly by application of electricity. The electricity can be applied by implanting the electrodes inside the brain directly, or indirectly by placing the electrodes on the scalp. Brain therapy is also done by inducing the electricity using magnetic fields which are applied to the head. Although these therapies are utilized lesser than medications and psychotherapies, they assure treatment of such brain disorders which cannot be aided by medications or psychotherapies.
The best brain therapy known so far is the Electroconvulsive therapy which is used for a long time. Some other therapies are:
- Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)
- Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)
- Magnetic Seizure Therapy (MST)
- Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)
A brain therapy plan probably includes medication and psychotherapy as well. The selection of treatment plan is based directly on the medical condition and need of an individual, under complete observation of a medical practitioner.
Here we are going to discuss that how the best brain therapy i.e. Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is done :
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is done by application of electric current for the treatment of severe mental disorders. This type of therapy is suggested as the last of treatment only if the patient’s condition is not getting stable by other options like treating with antidepressants or psychotherapies, or in such cases where there is the requirement of rapid response like suicide risk, catatonia etc.
Working Of ECT
Before application of Electroconvulsive Therapy, the patient is sedated with the help of an anesthesia and is given a medication known as muscle relevant to neglect any sort of movement during the treatment. The breathing, heart rate and pressure of blood are examined during entire treatment by an anesthesiologist and a team of trained medical practitioners, including nurses and physicians. During the process :
- Electrodes are placed in a suitable position of head
- Electric current is induced through the brain by the help of electrodes causing a seizure which remains for less than a minute. The patient cannot feel any electric impulse due to effects of anesthesia and muscle relaxant.
- The patient awakes after five to ten minutes of completion of the procedure. The patient might feel a little groggy or fainted at first due to the effect of anesthesia, but mostly after an hour the patient gets alert and is able to continue the normal activities.
This course of ECT is generally done three times a week until there is an improvement in patient’s depression which is usually improved within 6 to 12 treatments. After that, for reducing the symptoms of chances that depression will return again maintenance ECT treatment is done. This maintenance treatment varies in accordance with the condition of the patient. The treatment might be done once a week or once a month in accordance with the mental state of a person. Generally, a person undergoing ECT therapy also takes some antidepressant medicines.
ECT therapy, as well as many other therapies, are found quite helpful in stimulating the brain state.