ECT in Belgium: a record number of treatments

ECT statistics

The on-line journal Epilepsia Open has recently (December 2018) published an article by Caroline Schotte and colleagues at Leuven University, Belgium (“Development of temporal lobe epilepsy during maintenance electroconvulsive therapy: a case of human kindling?”).

The authors describe the case of a woman, aged 67, who had 1100 electroconvulsive treatments (ECT), which they say is a record in the literature. After about 800 treatments she developed temporal lobe epilepsy.

“In 1974 she was diagnosed with a bipolar disorder, refractory to medical treatment. Since  1995 she  was treated  with weekly ECT,  initially with bitemporal  and since 2004 with unilateral  right temporal electrode placement  because of cognitive deterioration. The  ECT frequency was lowered shortly before her  first visit to the outpatient neurological clinic  to once every two weeks. She received a total of over 1100 sessions. ECT proved very effective in  controlling the bipolar disorder. Trials to discontinue ECT in…

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