ECT or shock treatment is used to treat psychological disorders. How much voltage, current and duration is used for this? Wikipedia mentions a treatment of 0.8 Ampere for 5 seconds.


Peterchev et al. (2010) reports

The current amplitude is [... ] held fixed at the device maximum (e.g., 800 mA or 900 mA)...

and that

[constant-voltage devices are] now obsolete

The total stimulus duration as I understand is a pulse train of a few seconds (Peterchev, 2010). The duration of total treatment is about 20 minutes in the treatment room and up to an hour including recovery (source: Hopkins Hospital).

Note that the total stimulus duration depends on the total amount of injected charge. This in turn depends on stimulus frequency, stimulus shape, frequency and so forth (Fig. 1). For an excellent overview see (Peterchev et al., 2010).

stimulus shape
Fig. 1. Sample ECT waveforms: (a) sine wave, (b) biphasic pulses with indicated parameter definitions, and (c) monophasic pulses (Peterchev et al., 2010)

- Peterchev et al., J ECT (2010); 26(3): 159–74


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