Improvement of psychiatric symptoms after electroconvulsive therapy in young adults with intractable first-episode schizophrenia and schizophreniform disorder

Kazumasa Suzuki, Shuichi Awata, Takehisa Takano, Yukio Ebina, Kosei Takamatsu, Toshihiko Kajiwara, Kae Ito, Tsuyoshi Shindo, Shunichi Funakoshi, Hiroo Matsuoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Schizophrenia is a serious psychiatric disorder that develops mainly in young adults. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is known to be effective and safe in patients with schizophrenia with acute psychotic exacerbation. Because of the shortage of systematic studies, we conducted a prospective naturalistic study to examine the short-term effects of acute ECT and its safety in young adults with medically intractable first-episode schizophrenia. Subjects were seven consecutive patients, 15-35 years of age, with first-episode schizophrenia or schizophreniform disorder (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition; DSM-IV), who had failed to respond to neuroleptics. The seven patients were treated with a first course of ECT, and their clinical symptoms were evaluated on the basis of the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) (18 items, rated 0-6) and Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) Scale. The GAF Scale is presented in DSM-IV as a means of assessing global functioning of a psychiatric patient. Scores range from 1-100; the higher GAF score indicates the higher global functioning. Adverse effects resulting from acute ECT were also evaluated. The total BPRS score 1 week after the final session improved significantly compared to the total pre-ECT BPRS score. The GAF score also improved significantly compared to the pre-ECT GAF score. There were no adverse effects during the acute ECT course, except for mild delirium. We conclude that ECT may be an effective and safe treatment option for young adults with intractable first-episode schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-220
Number of pages8
JournalTohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine
Volume210
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Nov 1

Keywords

  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • First-episode schizophrenia
  • Intractable schizophrenia
  • Short-term effect
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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