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Psychol Med. 1977 Nov;7(4):625-9.

Spontaneous length of depression and response to ECT.


Electro-convulsive treatment (ECT) was therapeutically ineffective in 27 (20%) of 136 depressed patients. Failure to respond occurred in long-lasting depressions and in patients with a history of long-lasting depressions. In these cases the depression lasted at least 6 months. The hypothesis is proposed that ECT is effective only when given within 6 months of thespontaneous end of the depression. Clinical and nosological implications are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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