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Review
, 108 (6), 637-44

Catatonia: Syndrome or Schizophrenia Subtype? Recognition and Treatment

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Review

Catatonia: Syndrome or Schizophrenia Subtype? Recognition and Treatment

M Fink. J Neural Transm (Vienna).

Abstract

Two views of catatonia influence clinical practice. In the classical European view, adopted by DSM classifications, the signs of catatonia indicate a form of schizophrenia. In the syndromal view, the signs of catatonia are motor signs that are readily identified in many psychiatric disorders. Catatonia is a parallel behavior phenomenon to delusions (in thought) and delirium (in cognition). The syndromic view includes the neuroleptic malignant syndrome. It encourages a different treatment algorithm, the use of benzodiazepines and electroconvulsive therapy, to replace the customary use of antipsychotic drugs alone. The benefits of such treatment warrant the recommended change in concept and classification.

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