Clinical Observations in Geriatrics
Published: 2020-07-15

Pitfalls in managing depression in older persons - electroconvulsive therapy retains a vital role?

Department of Geriatric Medicine, Galway University Hospital, Galway, Ireland
Department of Psychiatry, Galway University Hospital, Galway, Ireland
Department of Psychiatry, Galway University Hospital, Galway, Ireland
Department of Geriatric Medicine, Galway University Hospital, Galway, Ireland
Department of Geriatric Medicine, Galway University Hospital, Galway, Ireland
Department of Geriatric Medicine, Galway University Hospital, Galway, Ireland
geriatrics depression somatic electroconvulsive therapy

Abstract

A 73 year old bachelor had multiple presentations to secondary and tertiary care facilities. His symptoms were varied, including headache, falls, marked weight loss and dysarthria. He was investigated as a possible stroke but with subsequent major functional decline. Following extensive investigations and after four months in residential care, major depressive disorder (MDD) was diagnosed. A physical diagnostic label, side effects of, and poor response to, medications complicated the clinical course. Ultimately he was successfully treated with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Despite response to ECT, the protracted course contributed to the institutionalisation of the patient. This case highlights the importance of early, accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of depression in older patients.

Affiliations

Kevin Kitt

Department of Geriatric Medicine, Galway University Hospital, Galway, Ireland

Sabina Fahy

Department of Psychiatry, Galway University Hospital, Galway, Ireland

Anne Doherty

Department of Psychiatry, Galway University Hospital, Galway, Ireland

Shaun O'Keeffe

Department of Geriatric Medicine, Galway University Hospital, Galway, Ireland

Aoife Murray

Department of Geriatric Medicine, Galway University Hospital, Galway, Ireland

Eamon Mulkerrin

Department of Geriatric Medicine, Galway University Hospital, Galway, Ireland

Copyright

© Società Italiana di Gerontologia e Geriatria (SIGG) , 2020

How to Cite

[1]
Kitt, K., Fahy, S., Doherty, A., O’Keeffe, S., Murray, A. and Mulkerrin, E. 2020. Pitfalls in managing depression in older persons - electroconvulsive therapy retains a vital role?. JOURNAL OF GERONTOLOGY AND GERIATRICS. (Jul. 2020). DOI:https://doi.org/10.36150/2499-6564-400.
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