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Title: Effects of stimulus intensity on the efficacy of bilateral ECT in schizophrenia: A preliminary study
Authors: Chanpattana W.
Chakrabhand M.L.S.
Buppanharun W.
Sackeim H.A.
Keywords: adult
electroconvulsive therapy
major clinical study
priority journal
rating scale
stimulus response
treatment outcome
Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale
Cognition Disorders
Double-Blind Method
Electroconvulsive Therapy
Middle Aged
Neuropsychological Tests
Severity of Illness Index
Treatment Outcome
Issue Date: 2000
Abstract: Background: This preliminary study examined the effects of electrical stimulus intensity on the speed of response and efficacy of bilateral electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in the treatment of schizophrenia. Methods: Sixty-two patients with schizophrenia received combination treatment with bilateral ECT and flupenthixol. Using a randomized, double-blind design, the effects of three dosages of the ECT electrical stimulus were examined. Patients were treated with a stimulus intensity that was just above seizure threshold, two-times threshold, or four-times threshold. Assessments of outcome used the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, Global Assessment of Functioning, and the Mini-Mental State Exam. Results: Thirty-three of sixty- two patients met remitter criteria, including maintaining improvement over a 3-week stabilization period. The dosage groups were equivalent in the number of patients who met remitter criteria. The low-dose remitter group (n = 11) received more ECT treatments and required more days to meet remitter status than both the twofold (n = 11) and fourfold remitter groups (n = 11). There was no difference among the groups in change in global cognitive status as assessed by the Mini-Mental State Exam. Conclusions: This preliminary study indicates that treatment with high-dosage bilateral ECT speeds clinical response in patients with schizophrenia. There may be a therapeutic window of stimulus intensity in impacting on the efficacy of bilateral ECT, which needs further study. A more sensitive battery of cognitive tests should be used in future research. (C) 2000 Society of Biological Psychiatry.
ISSN: 63223
Appears in Collections:Scopus 1983-2021

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