The monitoring and management of electrically induced seizures.
Because induced seizures have such a fundamental influence on both beneficial and adverse effects associated with ECT, it is crucial that they be monitored as effectively as possible. In practice this process involves a combination of both motor and EEG monitoring. The technology for such monitoring, although not overly sophisticated, is also not trivial, and a certain amount of training is required before a practitioner can meaningfully interpret this type of information. Efforts to standardize monitoring practices, at least within a particular ECT program, are also indicated. Our knowledge of what constitutes an adequate seizure is limited, with duration still the primary focus. Future studies of ictal electrophysiology may well provide better answers in this regard. One area where already accomplished work has proved productive involves the delineation of many of the factors which influence seizure threshold and duration. On the basis of these data, practitioners now can exert considerably greater control over such measures, and thereby make more optimal use of this treatment modality.
Weiner, RD; Coffey, CE; Krystal, AD
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