We report the case of a 27-year-old man with mild-moderate intellectual disability (ID) and bipolar disorder treated with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). He was psychiatrically hospitalized for agitation, aggression, and manic symptoms including insomnia, rapid and pressured speech, and hyperactivity. After multiple medication trials, ECT was recommended. The treatment was delayed owing to the need to obtain evaluation for incapacity and then substituted consent from the patient’s mother. He received 2 ECT treatments with marked improvement but complicated by transient fevers, which resolved without treatment. Fever workup was unremarkable. The patient became calm and cooperative and was discharged home. He was readmitted 3 weeks later, again in an agitated manic state. He received 5 additional ECT treatments, but this time with no post-ECT fevers. Once again, his manic symptoms resolved, and he was safely discharged. Whereas patients with ID pose special challenges, our case is in keeping with the previous literature, which supports the use of ECT in patients with ID and comorbid psychiatric disorders.
From the Departments of *Psychiatry and †Anesthesiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY.
Received for publication February 5, 2013; accepted April 2, 2013.
Reprints: Charles H. Kellner, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY 10029 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The other authors have no conflicts of interest or financial disclosures to report.
Dr Kellner reports the following financial disclosures: NIMH (grants support), UpToDate (honoraria for writing ECT sections), Cambridge University Press (royalties), Northshore-LIJ-Health System (honoraria for teaching ECT course), Psychiatric Times (honoraria as regular columnist).