Demographic and Clinical Profile of Patients With Dementia Receiving Electroconvulsive Therapy: A Case-Control Study

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Abstract

Purpose

Little is known about the clinical characteristics of patients with dementia receiving electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for the treatment of behavioral symptoms. This study examined the demographic and clinical profile of patients with dementia receiving ECT in China.

Methods

This was a retrospective, case-control study. The sample was composed of 23 patients with dementia treated with ECT and 71 sex- and age-matched controls treated for a period of 8 years (2007–2014) at the National Clinical Research Centre of Mental Disorders, China. Sociodemographic and clinical data were collected from the electronic chart management system.

Results

Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that ECT was independently associated with high risk for suicide at admission. The recorded indications for ECT included both high risk for suicide and aggressive behavior. Most patients responded to ECT satisfactorily (56.5%) or partially (34.8%) with only mild-moderate transient memory impairment (30.4%).

Conclusions

Although this is a preliminary study limited by the retrospective design and small sample size, findings suggest that ECT is an effective and safe therapeutic intervention to reduce the risk for suicide and aggressive behavior in dementia.

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