Electroconvulsive Therapy for Parkinson's Disease with Depression and Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome: A Case Report
Yuhei Mori 1*, Itaru Miura 1, Michinari Nozaki 1, Yusuke Osakabe 1, Ryuta Izumi 1, Takahiro Akama 1, So Kimura 1, Hirooki yabe 1
Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine
Received: November 4, 2020; Revised: December 29, 2020; Accepted: February 24, 2021; Published online: February 24, 2021.
© The Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

Parkinson’s disease is often complicated by psychiatric symptoms. Psychiatrists are caught in a dilemma between such symptoms and physical treatment since Parkinson’s disease sometimes shows treatment resistance based on pharmacological treatment-induced dopamine dysfunction. Here, we report on a 64-year-old woman with a 15-year history of Parkinson’s disease with stage IV severity based on the Hoehn and Yahr scale. She was admitted to our hospital with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder with psychotic features. Unfortunately, her treatment course for depression was complicated by neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Because we were concerned about the persistence of her depressive symptoms, the risk of psychotropic drugs causing adverse effects, and progressive disuse syndrome, we administered modified electroconvulsive therapy. Her symptoms of neuroleptic malignant syndrome and depression sufficiently improved after five sessions of modified electroconvulsive therapy. Additionally, the primary motor symptoms of her Parkinson’s disease also markedly improved. The improvement of neuroleptic malignant syndrome and her motor symptoms based on dopamine dysfunction can be explained by electroconvulsive therapy's effectiveness in activating dopamine neurotransmission. Besides, the marked improvement of her depressive episode with psychotic features was presumed to involve dopamine receptor activation and regulation. Because advanced Parkinson’s disease can sometimes be refractory to treatment based on pharmacological treatment-induced dopamine dysfunction, psychiatrists often have difficulty treating psychiatric symptoms; electroconvulsive therapy may stabilize the dopaminergic system in such cases, presenting a possible non-pharmacologic treatment option for Parkinson’s disease.
Keywords: depression, electroconvulsive therapy, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, Parkinson’s disease