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The Syndrome of Catatonia

Department of Psychiatry, University of Arizona, 1401 E University, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Tucson VA Medical Center, 3601 South 6th Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85723, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Carol North
Behav. Sci. 2015, 5(4), 576-588;
Received: 12 September 2015 / Revised: 3 November 2015 / Accepted: 24 November 2015 / Published: 9 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Psychiatric Diagnosis Past, Present and Future)
Catatonia is a psychomotor syndrome which has historically been associated with schizophrenia. Many clinicians have thought that the prevalence of this condition has been decreasing over the past few decades. This review reminds clinicians that catatonia is not exclusively associated with schizophrenia, and is still common in clinical practice. Many cases are related to affective disorders or are of an idiopathic nature. The illusion of reduced prevalence has been due to evolving diagnostic systems that failed to capture catatonic syndromes. This systemic error has remained unchallenged, and potentiated by the failure to perform adequate neurological evaluations and catatonia screening exams on psychiatric patients. We find that current data supports catatonic syndromes are still common, often severe and of modern clinical importance. Effective treatment is relatively easy and can greatly reduce organ failure associated with prolonged psychomotor symptoms. Prompt identification and treatment can produce a robust improvement in most cases. The ongoing prevalence of this syndrome requires that psychiatrists recognize catatonia and its presentations, the range of associated etiologies, and the import of timely treatment. View Full-Text
Keywords: catatonia; psychosis; stupor catatonia; psychosis; stupor
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wilcox, J.A.; Reid Duffy, P. The Syndrome of Catatonia. Behav. Sci. 2015, 5, 576-588.

AMA Style

Wilcox JA, Reid Duffy P. The Syndrome of Catatonia. Behavioral Sciences. 2015; 5(4):576-588.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wilcox, James A., and Pam Reid Duffy. 2015. "The Syndrome of Catatonia" Behavioral Sciences 5, no. 4: 576-588.

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