Memantine and catatonia: a case report and literature review

J Psychiatr Pract. 2011 Jul;17(4):292-9. doi: 10.1097/01.pra.0000400268.60537.5e.


Catatonia is a movement disorder with various possible etiologies. The majority of cases are associated with an underlying mood or psychotic disorder, while others are caused by medical conditions. Currently, benzodiazepines are the first-line psychopharmacologic agents in the treatment of catatonia. However, several cases have been reported in which treatment with memantine proved to be effective. We present the case of a 92-year-old female with major depressive disorder and associated catatonic symptoms. In this case, the patient's symptoms remitted quickly after the initiation of memantine. We review the possible causes of catatonia and pharmacologic treatments for the condition and highlight the possible benefits of N-methylD-aspartic acid receptor antagonists such as memantine in the treatment of catatonia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Catatonia / drug therapy*
  • Catatonia / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology*
  • Dopamine Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Memantine / therapeutic use*
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Dopamine Agents
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Memantine