The Journal of ECT

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Journal of ECT:
doi: 10.1097/YCT.0b013e3182542649
Case Reports

Brain-Behavior Relationship in a Case of Successful ECT for Drug Refractory Catatonic OCD

D’Urso, Giordano MD*; Mantovani, Antonio MD, PhD; Barbarulo, Anna Maria PhD; Labruna, Ludovica PhD§; Muscettola, Giovanni MD*∥

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Abstract: This case report describes the successful response to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in a patient with an unusual presentation of catatonia, whose onset occurred in the context of an extremely severe form of refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). We correlated the clinical improvement in catatonic and OCD symptoms with specific changes in brain function as shown by regional cerebral blood flow scans, neurological soft signs examination, and neuropsychological testing. All assessments were conducted before and after the ECT course. The results strongly suggest that a right hemisphere dysfunction was the neural correlate of our patient’s symptoms, and that ECT, by reverting this abnormality, may serve as an effective therapeutic approach for refractory catatonic OCD.

© 2012 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


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