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J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1994 Spring;6(2):154-9.

ECT as a treatment for depression in Huntington's disease.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21287-7281.


The authors review the records of 6 patients with Huntington's disease (HD) who received electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for depression. Five patients met criteria for major depression and 1 for bipolar disorder, depressed. None of the patients had responded to pharmacologic intervention, and 5 improved after ECT treatment. The 2 patients who had prominent delusions showed the greatest improvement. Apathy, and to some extent irritability, responded less well. One patient developed delirium, and the movement disorder worsened in another patient. ECT should be a treatment option in the management of depression in Huntington's disease, particularly when depression is resistant to pharmacologic treatment.

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