Clinical Neuroscience

[The use of ECT for epileptic patient]

FARKAS Márta, BARAN Brigitta, KÁRPÁTI Róbert, RAJNA Péter

DECEMBER 20, 2002

Clinical Neuroscience - 2002;55(11-12)

[Psychiatric disorders which indicate the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) also occur in epileptic patients, but there is a lack of medical authority concerning the use of ECT in epileptic patients. This is surprising because in recent years it has been proved that ECT has an anti-convulsive effect to some degree. A case study of an epileptic patient is presented whose progress has been monitored for several years. Antiepileptic drugs were seemingly able to control his epilepsy but at the same time progressive behavioural disturbance (schizophreniform psychosis) accompanied by agitation and violent behaviour developed. Considering the recurrent psychotic decompensations and the relative ineffectiveness of antipsychotics, the authors decided to administer ECT. As a result they were able to bring about the longest symptom free balanced period in the patient. According to the data based on previous medical studies and the experience they can suppose that ECT is not immediately contraindicated by the presence of epilepsy with active interictal focus if the psychopathological condition makes it necessary. In view of the epileptogenic risk factors of classical neuroleptics, the epileptogenic effects of accompanying psychosis and the probable anticonvulsive potential of ECT in cases of severe psychiatric complications accompanying epilepsy ECT could be used more frequently.]

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