How has electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) changed over the years?

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Early administration of ECT involved high doses of electricity given without anesthesia or muscle relaxation; this application produced significant side effects, both cognitive and physical. While the therapy has not been applied that way since the mid-1950s, Randall Espinoza, M.D., M.P.H., medical director of the Electroconvulsive Therapy Program at the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA, says misconceptions persist.

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