Catatonia: diagnosis, classification, and treatment

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2010 Jun;12(3):180-5. doi: 10.1007/s11920-010-0113-y.


Catatonia is a distinct neuropsychiatric syndrome that is becoming more recognized clinically and in ongoing research. It occurs with psychiatric, metabolic, or neurologic conditions. It may occur in many forms, including neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Treatment with benzodiazepines or electroconvulsive therapy leads to a dramatic and rapid response, although systematic, randomized trials are lacking. An important unresolved question is the role of antipsychotic agents in treatment and their potential adverse effects.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Catatonia* / classification
  • Catatonia* / diagnosis
  • Catatonia* / therapy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Lorazepam / therapeutic use
  • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome / therapy
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Lorazepam