Neurology Central

Clinical & diagnostic issues in catatonia


The concept of catatonia was formulated in the 1860s by Karl Ludwig Kahlbaum. He coined and gave the name catatonia to the syndromic entity in which the mood symptoms (depression and mania) were primary, and motor symptoms (mutism, negativism, stereotypies, catalepsy and verbigeration) the most characteristic. Although the name has remained stable, this concept has changed in the last century concerning the details of its definition until the current integrative approach in DSM 5. Catatonic phenomena are main components of the ‘motor abnormalities’ domain in psychiatric, neurologic and general medical disorders and they have to be evaluated in the context of a full psychopatological and neurological examination.

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