- The Japanese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine
- Progress in Rehabilitation Medicine (ISSN:24321354)
- vol.3, pp.20180010, 2018 (Released:2018-05-16)
Background: Acute lithium intoxication is associated with neurological manifestations such as tremor, ataxia, dysarthria, seizures, and in more severe cases encephalopathy and coma; patients experiencing such manifestations require rehabilitation. The authors present a patient who received post-acute rehabilitation for lithium toxicity-associated ataxia. Case: The patient was a man aged 30 years who had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder more than 10 years ago and had been prescribed lithium carbonate by a psychiatrist. The patient was admitted to the hospital with disturbance of consciousness, and physical therapy began on day 6 of hospitalization. Occupational therapy and speech therapy began on day 15. Physical therapy interventions focused on improving balance and coordination, and occupational therapy focused on improving stability while sitting, upper extremity control, and activities of daily living to improve the Functional Independence Measure motor subscale score. Speech therapy focused on dysarthria. On day 27 of hospitalization, the patient was able to walk 5 m with two Lofstrand crutches and could feed himself without assistance. From day 15 to day 30 of hospitalization, the Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia score improved from 28 to 19, and the Functional Independence Measure score increased from 25 to 77. On day 31, the patient was discharged to a convalescent rehabilitation hospital. Discussion: Post-acute rehabilitation for ataxia caused by acute lithium toxicity may improve ataxia and the ability to perform activities of daily living, and therefore may be of benefit.