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Electroconvulsive Therapy in a Man With Autism Experiencing Severe Depression, Catatonia, and Self-Injury

Wachtel, Lee Elizabeth MD*; Griffin, Merrie CRNA; Reti, Irving Michael MBBS

doi: 10.1097/YCT.0b013e3181a744ec
Case Reports

We report the successful use of electroconvulsive therapy in a 19-year-old man with autism and mild mental retardation who developed severe depression with repeated suicide attempts, multiple symptoms of catatonia, and life-threatening repetitive self-injurious behaviors. After 3 years of failed psychotropic and behavioral interventions in inpatient settings, the patient demonstrated excellent remission of symptoms with bilateral electroconvulsive therapy.

From the *Kennedy Krieger Institute; and †Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.

Received for publication February 20, 2009; accepted March 16, 2009.

Reprints: Lee Elizabeth Wachtel, MD, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Room 232, 707 N Broadway St, Baltimore, MD 21209 (e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.