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eISSN: 1643-3750

Catatonia recognition and treatment

Olivier Cottencin, Thierry Danel, Michel Goudemand, Pierre Thomas, Silla M. Consoli

Med Sci Monit 2009; 15(8): CS129-131

ID: 878125

Published: 2009-08-01

Background:    Catatonic syndrome is no longer considered a subtype of schizophrenia but is more frequently associated with mood disorders (mania, melancholia, and psychotic depression) as well as general medical conditions (neurological disorders, drug-induced and toxic-induced conditions, metabolic conditions). A case of catatonia is reported which occurred after alcohol withdrawal.
    Case Report:    Catatonia occurred 48 hours after alcohol withdrawal in a 54-year-old woman who had stopped all her treatment (in the context of a type II bipolar disorder). A dramatic improvement of symptoms was observed after oral administration of zolpidem.
    Conclusions:    This case seems to confirm that catatonia can represents a nonspecific response to stress factors. The withdrawal of multiple medications was already described as a basis for catatonia. Alcohol withdrawal could constitute an additional risk factor for catatonia. The zolpidem test is a useful diagnostic and therapeutic test.

Keywords: Catatonia, alcohol withdrawal, Mood Disorders, zolpidem test, Catatonia - drug therapy, Female, Humans, Middle Aged, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Pyridines - therapeutic use