Psychiatric Quarterly [psaq] ph223-psaq-471527 August 6, 2003 22:15 Style ﬁle version June 4th, 2002
Psychiatric Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 1, Spring 2004 (
ELECTROCONVULSIVE THERAPY FOR
AFFECTIVE DISORDERS IN PERSONS
WITH MENTAL RETARDATION
Richard J. Kessler, D.O.
Despite the efﬁcacy of electroconvulsive therapy for the treatment of affective
disorders there are no systematic studies of its effectiveness or safety in the
mentally retarded population. A literature search revealed 16 case reports that
suggests that it is both as effective and safe with mentally retarded persons
as in the general population. Four additional clinical vignettes, with extensive
follow-up observation from four to eleven years, are presented in an effort to
enrich the literature on this subject. They include patients with rapid cycling
bipolar disorder, bipolar disorder, manic phase, major depression with psychotic
features and schizoaffective disorder. Issues of diagnostic difﬁculty and phar-
macologic prophylaxis are addressed.
KEY WORDS: ECT; mental retardation; affective disorders.
If the incidence of affective disorders in mentally retarded persons
is at least the same as that in the non retarded population, then both
the usage and effectiveness of ECT are understudied and ECT probably
Richard J. Kessler, D.O., is the Medical Director, Adults and Children with Learning
and Developmental Disabilities, Bethpage, New York and is also an Assistant Clinical
Professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Address correspondence to Richard J. Kessler, D.O., ACLD, 807 South Oyster Bay Road,
Bethpage, New York 11714; e-mail: email@example.com.
2004 Human Sciences Press, Inc.