The efficacy and safety of ECT in population before and after 60 years of age
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Oddział Chorób Afektywnych IPiN w Warszawie
Submission date: 2015-06-28
Acceptance date: 2015-08-15
Publication date: 2016-10-31
Corresponding author
Anna Antosik-Wójcińska   

Oddział Chorób Afektywnych, II Klinika Psychiatryczna, Instytut Psychiatrii i Neurologii, Sobieskiego 9, 02-957 Warszawa, Polska
Psychiatr Pol 2016;50(5):1015-1026
The aim of the study was to evaluate efficacy and safety of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), in two age groups: before and after 60 years of age.

The study included 107 patients, 62 women and 45 men hospitalized in the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology and treated with ECT in 2013 and 2014. 76 people were below 60 years; 31 people – above 60. The authors analyzed the course of 1086 ECTs, 747 sessions for patients before 60 and 339 in patients over 60 years of age. The efficacy of ECT was diagnosed using CGI Scale.

No serious complications such as death, life-threatening condition, hospitalization in another ward or permanent injury occurred. In 67.11% of patients below 60 and 42% of patients after 60 years of age no side effects were observed. Below 60 years of age most frequently reported adverse reactions were headaches (13.16% of patients), above 60 years of age – memory impairment (22.58% of respondents). Arrhythmias occurred in 6 patients aged over 60. Disturbances of consciousness occurred among older patients slightly less frequently than in younger patients (3.25% vs. 3.95%). In patients over 60 years of age remission rate was similar as in younger age group (32.89% vs 32.26%) and significant improvement rate was even higher (61.29% over 60 vs. 48.68 before 60 years of age). No improvement of mental state occurred in 7.89% and worsening occurred in 2.63% of younger patients. All patients ged over 60 years benefited from the treatment.

The effectiveness of ECT in elderly was similar as in younger age group. The tolerance was slightly worse in patients aged over 60 years than in younger patients. The biggest problem in the elderly was not cognitive impairment, but the cardiovascular complications.

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