What is the medical definition of catatonia?

Definition of catatonia : a psychomotor disturbance that may involve muscle rigidity, stupor or mutism, purposeless movements, negativism, echolalia, and inappropriate or unusual posturing and is associated with various medical conditions (such as schizophrenia and mood disorders)

What does catatonia look like?

The most common signs of catatonia are immobility, mutism, withdrawal and refusal to eat, staring, negativism, posturing (rigidity), rigidity, waxy flexibility/catalepsy, stereotypy (purposeless, repetitive movements), echolalia or echopraxia, verbigeration (repeat meaningless phrases).

Can PTSD cause catatonia?

A patient with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) had several episodes of catatonia in the past 44 years. These episodes were characterized by a sudden onset of intense excitement, mild pyrexia, often moderate elevation of serum creatinine phosphokinase and the development of a full catatonic state.

How do you prevent catatonia?

The common recommendation is to avoid antipsychotics, at least during the early phases of catatonia treatment, to avoid antipsychotic-associated NMS, which has been believed to occur in up to 10% of the catatonic patients treated with antipsychotics.

How do you assess catatonia?

Commonly observed signs in catatonia include the following:

  1. Immobility (hypokinesis or akinesis)
  2. Mutism (absence of speech)
  3. Stupor (decreased alertness and response to stimuli)
  4. Negativism (resistance to all instructions or all attempts to be moved)
  5. Waxy flexibility (slight, even resistance to positioning by examiner)

What is waxy flexibility?

When you have waxy flexibility, your limbs might resist a little when a doctor tries to move them. Then your muscles slowly release, like when you bend a warm candle. You usually keep the new position. For example, if the doctor raises one of your arms or legs, you’ll stay that way for a while. That’s called catalepsy.

Why do benzodiazepines treat catatonia?

Benzodiazepines are the first-choice treatment for catatonia, regardless of the underlying condition. Benzodiazepines are positive allosteric modulators of GABA-A receptors and will correct deficient GABA-ergic function in the orbitofrontal cortex (11).

What is the best treatment for catatonia?

Benzodiazepines are generally tried first, but ECT may be the first choice for malignant catatonia. ECT is performed under general anesthesia so that the individual does not experience any pain during the procedure. ECT is the most efficacious treatment available for catatonia.

What does being in catatonic state feel like?

Catatonia is a group of symptoms that usually involve a lack of movement and communication, and also can include agitation, confusion, and restlessness. Until recently, it was thought of as a type of schizophrenia.

What causes catatonic symptoms?

Catatonia is believed to be caused by irregularities in the dopamine, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and glutamate neurotransmitter systems. It’s often accompanied by an underlying neurological, psychiatric, or physical illness. As a result, your doctor must focus on the cause to treat catatonic symptoms successfully.

What does it mean to be catatonic?

Catatonia is a state of stupor or unresponsiveness in a person who is otherwise awake. Catatonia can occur in association with a psychiatric disorder, like schizophrenia, or in association with a medical condition such as encephalitis. In some patients, catatonia may be present without a known cause.