Electrotherapy could be a safe way of treating dementia-related aggression and agitation, researchers say

Share this article:

Electroconvulsive therapy could be a safe alternative for reducing behavioral symptoms of dementia when medication is not effective, according to findings from a small study.

Researchers tracked agitation and aggression in 23 participants who received electroconvulsive therapy in either Massachusetts or Michigan.

The participants came in with an average score of “markedly agitated/aggressive” on the Clinical Global Impression scale, and this changed to an average score of “borderline agitated/aggressive” when they were discharged from the therapy, the researchers determined. They also found a “significant decrease from baseline to discharge” utilizing the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory.

The electrotherapy did not appear to have any affect on depression, the investigators noted.

“Electroconvulsive therapy may be a safe treatment option to reduce symptoms of agitation and aggression in patients with dementia,” they concluded.

The researchers were affiliated with a variety of institutions, including Harvard Medical School, Michigan State University and Duke University School of Medicine.

Findings appear in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Share this article:

More in News

MedPAC discusses limiting patients' post-acute options

MedPAC discusses limiting patients' post-acute options

Medicare rules might have to be relaxed to give hospitals more say in where patients go for post-acute care, members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission proposed at a recent ...

Nursing home workers told not to touch residents due to Ebola concerns

U.S. nursing home workers who hail from West Africa are being stigmatized as potential Ebola carriers and forbidden from touching residents, according to IRIN, an independent news service launched by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Former office manager charged with embezzling half a million dollars from residents

The former business office manager of a Michigan nursing home has been charged with embezzling more than $460,000 from the resident trust fund, the state's attorney general announced last Thursday.