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Patients with psychiatric disorders are exposed to high risk of COVID-19 and increased mortality. In this study, we set out to assess the clinical features and outcomes of patients with current psychiatric disorders exposed to COVID-19.
This multi-center prospective study was conducted in 22 psychiatric wards dedicated to COVID-19 inpatients between 28 February and 30 May 2020. The main outcomes were the number of patients transferred to somatic care units, the number of deaths, and the number of patients developing a confusional state. The risk factors of confusional state and transfer to somatic care units were assessed by a multivariate logistic model. The risk of death was analyzed by a univariate analysis.
In total, 350 patients were included in the study. Overall, 24 (7%) were transferred to medicine units, 7 (2%) died, and 51 (15%) patients presented a confusional state. Severe respiratory symptoms predicted the transfer to a medicine unit [odds ratio (OR) 17.1; confidence interval (CI) 4.9–59.3]. Older age, an organic mental disorder, a confusional state, and severe respiratory symptoms predicted mortality in univariate analysis. Age >55 (OR 4.9; CI 2.1–11.4), an affective disorder (OR 4.1; CI 1.6–10.9), and severe respiratory symptoms (OR 4.6; CI 2.2–9.7) predicted a higher risk, whereas smoking (OR 0.3; CI 0.1–0.9) predicted a lower risk of a confusional state.
COVID-19 patients with severe psychiatric disorders have multiple somatic comorbidities and have a risk of developing a confusional state. These data underline the need for extreme caution given the risks of COVID-19 in patients hospitalized for psychiatric disorders.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a safe and validated technique used to treat various psychiatric conditions. It triggers an artificially-induced seizure. This seizure is defined using several parameters such as the amount of energy, duration, frequency, pulse width and intensity. Efficacy and adverse events depend on the amount of energy delivered. Due to technical control, the amount of energy delivered by our unit’s ECT device was limited to 614 mC, 60% of the maximum possible output of the device. We wondered if lowering the dose would lead to better seizure quality among maintenance ECT patients.
We assessed seizure quality based on the EEG, using a validated tool created by MacPherson. Two evaluators independently rated the seizures. Pre- and post-control scores were compared using Student’s t-test for paired samples.
We analysed data from 15 patients. Mean age was 65 years old. Twelve had depressive disorder, two had schizophrenia and one had schizo-affective disorder. Mean duration of seizure before control was 41.1 s [95% confidence interval (95CI)=26.1, 51.1]. The mean MacPherson’s score was 20.3 (95CI=16.2, 24.4). After control, the mean MacPherson’s score was 28.2 (23.1, 33.3), showing a significant difference with the pre-control dataset (p=0.032; t=−2.4; df=14). Specifically, peak mid-ictal amplitude increased from 6.9 (95CI=5.1, 8.7) to 10.0 (95CI=7.2, 12.8). Other sub-scores remained unchanged.
Lowering the energy delivered led to an overall increase of seizure quality among our sample. This highlights the necessity and utility of retitration during ECT maintenance, possibly leading to better management of our patients.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a non-pharmacological treatment that is effective in treating severe and treatment-resistant depression. Although the efficacy of ECT has been demonstrated to treat major depressive disorder (MDD), the brain mechanisms underlying this process remain unclear. Structural–functional changes occur with the use of ECT as a treatment for depression based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). For this reason, we have tried to identify the changes that were identified by MRI to try to clarify some operating mechanisms of ECT. We focus to brain changes on MRI [structural MRI (sMRI), functional MRI (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imging (DTI)] after ECT.
A systematic search of the international literature was performed using the bibliographic search engines PubMed and Embase. The research focused on papers published up to 30 September 2015. The following Medical Subject Headings (MESH) terms were used: electroconvulsive therapy AND (MRI OR fMRI OR DTI). Papers published in English were included. Four authors searched the database using a predefined strategy to identify potentially eligible studies.
There were structural changes according to the sMRI performed before and after ECT treatment. These changes do not seem to be entirely due to oedema. This investigation assessed the functional network connectivity associated with the ECT response in MDD. ECT response reverses the relationship from negative to positive between the two pairs of networks.
We found structural–functional changes in MRI post-ECT. Because of the currently limited MRI data on ECT in the literature, it is necessary to conduct further investigations using other MRI technology.
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