A MUM suffering from depression died from a seizure after undergoing 'controversial' electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), an inquest heard.

Kathryn Carbone, 57, became depressed and suffered "severe delusions" after her husband was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour.

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A decision was made to try ECT after a number of different treatments and anti-depressant drugs failed to help Kathryn.

The treatment induces a controlled seizure by passing small electric currents through the brain to effect changes in brain chemistry that can reverse symptoms of certain mental health conditions.

But although catering assistant Kathryn, from Hungerford, initially responded well to the therapy, a nurse later found her suffering a seizure that stopped her heart.

A cardiac team failed to revive her, and the mother-of-one was pronounced dead on July 24, 2018.

Tragically, her husband Carbine 'Tony' Carbone, 61, has since died, and the couple's young son is being cared for by a relative, said assistant Berkshire coroner Alison McCormick.

A jury at the inquest, held at Reading Town Hall over two days on January 8 and 9, were told by the coroner: "You will have to decide whether there was any causal connection between the ECT and her death."

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The jury heard that Mrs Carbone had become obsessed with the idea that her digestive system had stopped working, and was reluctant to eat or drink.

As her weight plummeted, doctors and psychiatrists from Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust tried a number of different treatments and anti-depressant drugs, to no avail.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Navyjot Sodhi said Mrs Carbone presented as "nearly catatonic" by June 2018 and was almost unable to respond to questions.

She had been treated at both the Royal Berkshire Hospital and at Prospect Park Hospital in Tilehurst with little or no progress, the jury heard.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Matthew Lowe said Mrs Carbone was averse to being fed by nasogastric tube and had pulled it out on at least one occasion.

Eventually ECT was considered.

Dr Lowe explained: "It's a slightly controversial treatment - people are careful and it's done in the most safe and humane way.

"There are incredibly strict protocols and the Royal College of Psychiatry keeps a very careful watch over places that administer it."

The decision was taken, in consultation with her family, to induce a controlled seizure with ECT.

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The inquest heard Kathryn's condition seemed to have improved a little when she came round and she was moved to a recovery ward.

But some time later, the jury was told, a nurse found her suffering a seizure which caused her heart to stop and a cardiac team was unable to revive her.

Consultant pathologist Dr Colin McCormick, who carried out the post mortem examination, said: "I could find no evidence of adverse effects from the ECT.

"I could find no positive correlation. It was entirely inconclusive. The cause of death was unascertained, from my perspective."

Jurors returned an 'open' verdict - meaning the jury confirmed the death was suspicious, but was unable to reach any firm conclusion.