Update on the electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) efficacy in the treatment of manic episodes of bipolar disorder

Monique Almeida Vaz, Felipe Rocha Silva, Bruna Evellyn de Lima Alves, Daniele Oliveira Ferreira da Silva


Bipolar disorder (BD) is a mood disorder characterized by manic, hypomanic and depressive episodes, which cause social, professional, financial or physical damage, and is a risk factor for suicide. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has been well established as a treatment for refractory depression to drugs, but studies addressing the ECT effectiveness in the treatment of mania are scarce. This study evaluated studies published in the last 10 years on the ECT effectiveness in the treatment of manic episodes of bipolar disorder, and for this purpose, 4 articles were analyzed. Two randomized studies found that groups submitted to ECT showed significant response to treatment criteria. Another study showed inconclusive results regarding the ECT efficacy in manic episodes, but a positive outcome for the usefulness of the method. The other study analyzed the use of ECT in pregnant women, showing that the treatment was effective, but that further studies in relation to maternal and fetal risks should be conducted. It was therefore concluded that ECT can be a viable option for the treatment of manic episodes.

Key words: Electroconvulsive therapy, bipolar disorder, manic episodes

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