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Does Electroconvulsive Therapy Improve Huntington’s Disease?

For over 70 years electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has been used to treat severe depression and there are reports that it could help patients with Huntington’s disease who experience psychiatric symptoms. Many patients with Huntington’s Disease experience depression, with suicide rates 5 to 10 times higher than the general population. In 21 published case reports where ECT has been used as treatment for patients with depression, cognitive decline, and psychosis, 20 patients had positive outcomes. This treatment had no reported side effects, demonstrated safety, and may be a useful option for patients with Huntington’s disease who experience depression.