Richard D. Weiner, MD, PhD


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Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Interim Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Department / Division:
Psychiatry / Brain Stimulation and Neurophysiology
DUMC 3309
Durham, NC 27710
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  • MD, Duke University School of Medicine, 1973
  • Psychiatry, UNC Hospitals, 1974-1976
Other Training:
  • PhD, Physiology, Duke University, 1973
Clinical Interests:
Affective disorders, electroconvulsive therapy, schizophrenia, electroencephalography
Research Interests:
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.