ECT in the Treatment of Recurrent Psychotic Depression

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Two cases of recurrent psychotic depression are reported in which ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) was administered with good results for previous episodes of depression, but treatment of the current episode with combined drug therapy (antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs) in one case and antidepressant chemotherapy in the other resulted in failure to improve. The patients were transferred to another facility and improved when ECT was administered. Pertinent literature on ECT and drug treatment of depression is reviewed, and the conditions for which ECT is probably the treatment of choice are enumerated.

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