Neurology Central

Catatonia: diagnostic approaches and therapeutic management


In the past 200 years, there has been a concerted effort by dedicated clinicians to increase the recognition, diagnosis and treatment of catatonia. There is now international, external validation of their efforts with the publication of DSM-5 and ICD-10 [1,2]. In DSM-5 catatonia was unlinked from schizophrenia [1].

Thus, catatonia is recognized as the presentation of mood, psychotic and developmental disorders. These three independent diagnostic subcategories of catatonia recognized the need to identify, diagnose and treat these primary neuropsychiatric syndromes. This modern nosology is also supported by treatment of catatonia. The diagnosis of catatonia in DSM- 5 and ICD-10 directs the clinician to tap into the unique treatment approaches described in this special issue of Future Neurology. The clinician can also identify catatonia as a risk factor for neuroleptic malignant syndrome, and to initiate clinical management to prevent the complications of catatonia.

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