The catatonic dilemma expanded

Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2006 Sep 7;5:14. doi: 10.1186/1744-859X-5-14.


Catatonia is a common syndrome that was first described in the literature by Karl Kahlbaum in 1874. The literature is still developing and remains unclear on many issues, especially classification, diagnosis, and pathophysiology. Clinicians caring for psychiatric patients with catatonic syndromes continue to face many dilemmas in diagnosis and treatment. We discuss many of the common problems encountered in the care of a catatonic patient, and discuss each problem with a review of the literature. Focus is on practical aspects of classification, epidemiology, differential diagnosis, treatment, medical comorbidity, cognition, emotion, prognosis, and areas for future research in catatonic syndromes.