From the Editor

Electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT, is a highly effective treatment for depression. But patients often complain about side effects, including cognitive problems.

Could magnetic seizure therapy, or MST, provide the benefits of ECT without these issues? In a new paper for JAMA Psychiatry, Zhi-De Deng (of Duke University) and co-authors attempt to answer that question. In a study where 73 patients with depression were given ECT or MST, they found similar results. “This randomized clinical trial found that the efficacy of MST was indistinguishable from that of ultrabrief pulse [right unilateral] ECT, the safest form of ECT currently available.” We consider the paper and its implications.

In the second selection, Dr. Niall Boyce (of the Wellcome Trust) mulls the return of Frasier Crane, the “pompous but kind-hearted American psychiatrist.” In a Lancet perspective, he writes about the original TV comedy and the new revival of Frasier – and also notes the change in perception of psychiatry over the years. His assessment of the show: “Is the new Frasier worth watching? On the early evidence, I would say yes.”

And, finally, we explore the latest in the news with consideration of recent articles from The Globe and Mail and other publications. Among the topics: the (over) prescription of antidepressants, safe supply, and hairdressers and psychotherapy in Togo.


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