ECT: Physiol changes

Electroconvulsive therapy causes a generalized tonic clonic seizure by electrical stimulation of the brain. Cerebral blood flow and metabolism increase dramatically. From a cardiovascular standpoint, there is an initial parasympathetic surge (primarily during the electrical stimulation) with severe bradycardia or asystole. This is followed by a sympathetic surge causing hypertension and tachycardia.


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