Electroconvulsive Therapy Fourth Edition
Abrams, R. Electroconvulsive Therapy Fourth Edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2002. ISBN 0-19-514820-7.
The first book on the modern use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), now in its fourth edition. An excellent book and very readable, it begins with a history of the development of ECT, and then discusses its usefulness, physiological consequences, application techniques, side-effects, and possible explanations of its functioning.
The author's depth of experience is evident throughout the book. For example, his long-held contention that to be as effective as bilateral placement, the stimulus dosage in unilateral application must be high has recently been scientifically born out. This practical experience makes this book more readable than The Practice of Electroconvulsive Therapy, which is more of a reference book and focuses on the scientific evidence for ECT. Every new edition is updated for the most recent findings. This edition provides a clear overview of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
In conclusion a readable, well organised, practice-focused book. The fact that the author is a proponent of this treatment and his nuanced discussion explain the readability, enthusiasm, and the attention to detail with which it is written. It was my first book about ECT and since first reading it during a vacation I have not lost my enthusiasm for ECT.