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J Psychiatr Res. 1995 May-Jun;29(3):165-72.

Relapse and recurrence following a course of ECT: reasons for concern and strategies for further investigation.

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Psychiatry Division, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel.


Patients treated with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) have a more severe illness. This severity is evidenced in the clinical profile of the illness, in the course of the illness, in the resistance to pharmacotherapy, and in the high relapse and recurrence rates after the course of ECT. In this article the authors explore some of the issues, particularly those of biological correlates of severe mood disorders and the continuation of treatment after ECT, which may be factors in this increased severity. The authors propose avenues for the investigation and treatment of severe mood disorders treated with ECT.

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