In the December 2015 issue of the Atlantic was a fascinating article by Dan Hurley titled “The Return of Electroshock Therapy”. He interviews Sarah Lisanby MD. She was the founding director of Columbia University’s Division for Brain Stimulation and Neuromodulation. She then moved on to become the Chairwoman at The Department of Psychiatry at Duke University. Just recently, she was appointed as director of the Neurostimulation Division at the National Institute of Mental Health.
In the article, she discusses how over the course of her career she has tried to overcome the stigma of ECT to insure this life saving procedure can be available to patients when needed.
She also discusses her research with Magnetic Seizure Therapy. This therapy is not yet available, but is probably as effective as ECT, but has a better side effect profile in that there are less concerns about memory impairment with treatment.
You can access the article here