Richard David Weiner

Richard David Weiner
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Third Year Mentor - Behavioral Neurosciences Study Program (BSP)
Campus mail: 54216 Hosp South, Durham, NC 27710
Phone: (919) 681-8721

Research efforts under my direction are in electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). First, in a study of unilateral versus bilateral ECT in elderly unilateral ECT non-responders, we have shown that switching to bilateral ECT is associated with a more substantial and enduring response. We have also shown that switching to bilateral ECT is, however, associated with an increase in memory impairment compared to continuing unilateral ECT. Other ongoing ECT work focuses on the effects of various types of stimulus dosing paradigms on therapeutic response, memory impairment, and EEG abnormality. This work already suggests that moderate intensity dosing improves therapeutic response, but, again, at the cost of more substantial memory effects. With respect to this latter study, as well as other pilot work, we have also demonstrated an ability to separate EEG seizures produced by various kinds of ECT treatment parameters. We are continuing this work in order to more fully develop electroencephalographic models of treatment adequate with ECT.

Education and Training

  • Duke University, Ph.D. 1973
  • Duke University, M.D. 1974


ECT in a State Hospital Setting.

The use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in U.S. state hospitals has markedly decreased in the past 20 years. During this time ECT technique has reached a high level of sophistication.

ECT seizure therapeutic adequacy.

From the beginnings of convulsive therapy, the need for some way to assess the therapeutic adequacy of individual treatments has been apparent.