Catatonia and consultation-liaison psychiatry study of 12 cases

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2007 Aug 15;31(6):1170-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2007.04.006. Epub 2007 Apr 19.


Nowadays, catatonia is no more considered as a subtype of schizophrenia. Catatonia seems more frequently associated to mood disorders as well as general medical conditions. It is sometimes difficult to associate formally a medical etiology to this syndrome. But we found, in the literature, three groups of associated general medical conditions: neurological disorders, drug induced and toxic induced conditions, metabolic conditions. We present a prospective study of 12 clinical cases of catatonia due to general medical conditions we realized in the Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Department of the University Hospital of LILLE (France) during a period of 5 months. We find coherent data with the literature. However, our results suggest that if medical conditions precipitate the catatonia syndrome, they are rarely its only etiology. We think that if somatic factors are co-morbid with psychiatric conditions they do not necessarily predominate as the target of treatment. The treatment of the catatonia must be a priority and remain symptomatic, to allow in parallel the specific treatment for the somatic disorder or the psychiatric disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Catatonia / diagnosis*
  • Catatonia / drug therapy
  • Catatonia / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychiatry*
  • Referral and Consultation*