Use of Electroconvulsive Therapy in Dementia-Related Agitation: A Case Series

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Abstract

Objectives

This naturalistic prospective observation study examines the efficacy of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in treating dementia-related agitation.

Methods

Patients with dementia-related agitation who received ECT were compared with patients with the same condition who did not receive ECT using Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI), Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI)—nursing home version, and Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI). Outcomes were compared between ECT-treated and non–ECT-treated patients.

Results

A total of 9 patients were included in the study. Six received ECT, and 3 did not. Patients in the ECT and non–ECT-treated groups had comparable baseline scores (CMAI, P = 0.880; NPI, P = 0.814; and CGI, P = 0.445). The CMAI, NPI, and CGI scores were lower on final assessment in both groups with no statistically significant difference (CMAI, P = 0.771; NPI, P = 0.243; and CGI, P = 0.519).

Conclusions

Electroconvulsive therapy should be considered as a treatment option in the management of severe treatment refractory dementia-related agitation.

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