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


EEG effects of ECT: implications for rTMS.

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) involves the use of electrical stimulation to elicit a series of generalized tonic-clonic seizures for therapeutic purposes and is the most effective treatment known for major depression.

Effect of ECT treatment number on the ictal EEG.

Recent evidence suggests that attributes of the ictal electroencephalogram (EEG) may be clinically useful for estimating the extent to which the electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) stimulus exceeds the seizure threshold (relative stimulus intensity).