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Use of Continuation or Maintenance Electroconvulsive Therapy in Adolescents With Severe Treatment-Resistant Depression

Ghaziuddin, Neera MD, MRCPsych; Dumas, Sara MD; Hodges, Elise PhD

Journal of ECT:
doi: 10.1097/YCT.0b013e3181f665e4
Case Reports

Retrospective data are presented for 6 adolescents ranging in age from 14 to 17 years, who were diagnosed with severe treatment-resistant major depression (TRD). Subjects were treated with one or more index courses of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) followed by continuation ECT (C-ECT, up to 6 months of ECT) or maintenance ECT (M-ECT; ECT beyond 6 months) when necessary. Electroconvulsive therapy was continued until remission or until minimal residual symptoms were evident. Pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy were reintroduced during C-ECT or M-ECT. Premorbid functioning was achieved by 5 of 6 cases. Cognitive deficits were not evident. In fact, comparison of pre-ECT and post-ECT neuropsychological functioning revealed a trend toward improved auditory and verbal memory on most of the results. We concluded that C-ECT and M-ECT are useful and safe treatment strategies for selected adolescents with severe treatment-resistant depression, and symptom remission may be achieved without experiencing cognitive impairment.

Author Information

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.

Received for publication May 11, 2010; accepted July 23, 2010.

Reprints: Neera Ghaziuddin, MD, MRCPsych, 4250 Rachel Upjohn Building, Plymouth Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.