ECT machine with scalp electrodes, 1950.
3 2 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 24cm

ECT machine with scalp electrodes, 1950.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) machines were used to transmit electric currents to the brain in timed pulses, causing a masive convulsion or seizure. In this way, it was thought that it was posible to 'shock' a patient out of a severe mental disorder. The therapy has always been controversial, but is still sometimes used, mainly in the treatment of severe depresion.

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