Behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) refer to the distressing, non-cognitive symptoms of dementia and include agitation or restlessness; wandering and non-specific behaviour disturbance e.g. hoarding; verbal or physical aggression; anxiety; depression; psychosis, delusions, hallucinations; repetitive vocalisation, cursing, screaming and swearing; sleep disturbance; shadowing; sundowning.
We report the case of a patient with advanced stage Alzheimer’s dementia with severe BPSD not respondent to several trials of antipsychotis, anxiolytics and mood stabilizers. The patient was treated with acute and maintenance bilateral ECT.
This case represents a successful use of acute and maintenance ECT in the treatment of BPSD, in particular psychomotor agitation, associated with Alzheimer’s dementia. According to our experience, it is important to manage this psychiatric manifestations with ECT, especially in those cases in which the psychopharmacological treatment alone does not give satisfactory results in clinical improvement.