Short-term effect of ECT in middle-aged and elderly patients with intractable catatonic schizophrenia

Kazumasa Suzuki, Shuichi Awata, Hiroo Matsuoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background and Objective: The management of middle-aged and elderly patients with catatonic schizophrenia has long been a major problem in clinical geriatric psychiatry. Most cases are intractable because of medication resistance, medication intolerance, or severe medical conditions. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is recognized as one of the most efficacious therapies for catatonic schizophrenia. Thus, we conducted a prospective study of the short-term effect of acute ECT on middle-aged and elderly patients with intractable catatonic schizophrenia. Materials and Methods: Subjects were nine consecutive patients older than 45 years who had fulfilled the DSM-IV criteria for catatonic-type schizophrenia and had been referred for first-time acute ECT after other treatments had failed. The patients were treated at Tohoku University Hospital between January 1998 and March 2002. We evaluated the clinical response of these patients to acute ECT by means of the brief psychiatric rating scale (BPRS). We also evaluated adverse effects of acute ECT. Results: The response rate was 100%. The total BPRS score was improved in all nine subjects at the end of the ECT course and 1 week after the final session in comparison with the total pre-ECT BPRS score (11.9 ± 7.5 and 9.3 ± 9.2 versus 57.1 ± 13.1, respectively, p = 0.008, p = 0.008). The total Global Assessment of Functioning score was also improved significantly (from 10.8 ± 9.4 just before ECT to 61.6 ± 18.91 week after ECT, p = 0.008). Guy's five factors (thought disturbance, activation, anxiety-depression, hostility-suspiciousness, and anergia) improved significantly (p = 0.008, p = 0.008, p = 0.18, p = 0.012, p = 0.008, respectively). One patient showed supraventricular premature contractions (SVPCs) during an ECT seizure. After some ECT sessions, three patients exhibited mild to moderate delirium that disappeared within 3 days. However, no patient experienced a severe cognitive or physical adverse effect during the course of ECT. Conclusions: Acute ECT has a good short-term effect on middle-aged and elderly patients with intractable catatonic schizophrenia and appears to be safe. Our results indicate that systematic studies on a large scale are warranted for further investigation of the efficacy and safety of acute ECT for treating middle-aged and elderly patients with catatonic schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of ECT
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Keywords

  • Adverse effect
  • BPRS
  • Catatonic schizophrenia
  • Electroconvulsive therapy
  • Guy's five factors
  • Intractable schizophrenia
  • Middle-aged and elderly patients with catatonia
  • Middle-aged and elderly patients with schizophrenia
  • Prospective study
  • Short-term effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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