Electroconvulsive therapy in the management of chronic pain

Keith G. Rasmussen, Teresa A. Rummans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is used predominantly to treat major depressive illness but has also been used for chronic pain. ECT causes a variety of neurochemical and neurophysiologic effects, some of which may interact with the pathophysiologic mechanisms in complex pain states. An extensive literature on the use of ECT in pain patients identifies subgroups for whom ECT may result in substantial pain relief. In this article, we review the literature on the use of ECT in pain patients, suggest possible neurobiologic bases for the efficacy of ECT in such patients, and conclude with our recommendations for current clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-22
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent pain and headache reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2002


  • Chronic Pain Syndrome
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy
  • Pain Syndrome
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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