Journal of Affective Disorders
Speed of recovery from disorientation may predict the treatment outcome of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in elderly patients with major depression
No study has previously investigated whether the speed of recovery from disorientation in the post-ictal period may predict the short-term treatment outcome of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
This longitudinal cohort study included 57 elderly patients with unipolar or bipolar major depression, aged 60-85 years, treated with formula-based ECT. Treatment outcome was assessed weekly during the ECT course using the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD17). The post-ictal reorientation time (PRT) was assessed at the first and third treatments.
Longer PRTs at the first and third treatments predicted a more rapid decline and a lower end-point in continuous HRSD17 scores (p=0.002 and 0.019, respectively). None of the patients who recovered from disorientation in less than 5min met the remission criterion, defined as an HRSD17 score of 7 or less. A greater increment in stimulus dosage from the first to the third ECT session rendered a smaller relative decline in PRT (p<0.001).The limited number of subjects may reduce the generalizability of the findings.The speed of recovery from disorientation at the first and third sessions seems to be a predictor of the treatment outcome of formula-based ECT, at least in elderly patients with major depression. It remains to be clarified how the PRT may be utilized to guide stimulus dosing.
Journal of Affective Disorders , 2016