Catatonia in Adolescence: First Onset Psychosis or Anti-NMDAr Encephalitis?

Clin Neuropharmacol. Jul/Aug 2019;42(4):136-138. doi: 10.1097/WNF.0000000000000348.


Catatonia is a rare condition that can occur in developmental disorders, but it is more frequently seen in schizophrenia. Recently, a high prevalence of cerebrospinal fluid abnormalities including the detection of antineuronal autoantibodies has been observed in psychotic patients. Among these autoimmune encephalopathies associated with a psychiatric condition, a great deal of attention has been paid to anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAr) encephalitis, which may present, among other things, symptoms such as catatonia, which therefore imposes a differential diagnosis with respect to the early psychosis. The aim of our study was to describe the clinical characteristics of 4 cases with catatonic symptoms to understand the differences between the psychotic symptoms due to a type of encephalitis anti-NMDAr and the psychotic symptoms without anti-NMDAr.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Encephalitis / complications*
  • Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Encephalitis / diagnosis*
  • Catatonia / etiology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychotic Disorders / complications*
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis*