John Libbey Eurotext

Electroconvulsive therapy for psychosis in a patient with epilepsy related to hypothalamic hamartoma Volume 15, issue 3, September 2013

Neurology Department, University Hospital of Strasbourg and Medical School of Strasbourg, Institut des Neurosciences Cellulaires et Intégratives CNRS UPR 3212, Psychiatry Department, University Hospital of Strasbourg and Medical School of Strasbourg, INSERM U1114, Department of Psychiatry, CNRS UMR 7237, Strasbourg, Fédération de Médecine Translationnelle de Strasbourg (FMTS), Strasbourg, France

Psychosis is more common in people with temporal lobe epilepsy than it is in the general population. Treatment can be difficult in these patients because of the complex interactions between antipsychotic and antiepileptic drugs. Some antipsychotic drugs also decrease the seizure threshold. We report the case of a 49-year-old man with a hypothalamic hamartoma, with a history of both gelastic and temporal lobe seizures. The patient was rendered seizure-free after three neurosurgical procedures but developed a drug-resistant paranoid psychosis. He was treated with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). After two weeks with six stimulations that resulted in seizures, the psychiatric phenomena disappeared completely. There was no relapse of either the psychiatric symptoms or the seizures during the 42 months of follow-up. This case report suggests that ECT might be safe for psychosis in patients with a history of seizures that have previously been successfully treated with neurosurgery, although caution should be exercised in drawing general conclusions from a single case report.