Somatic therapies in the treatment of catatonia

Written by Carlos Fernandez-Robles, Scott Beach & Gregory L Fricchione

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a safe and effective treatment for catatonia when benzodiazepines fail to work or when more immediate resolution is required. ECT may be used for all forms of catatonia, regardless of etiology, and may be particularly useful in cases of refractory catatonia. ECT appears to be more rapidly effective in stuporous catatonia than in other forms. There are no absolute contraindications to treatment with ECT, though relative contraindications, including several medical conditions, do exist. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is being explored as another possible somatic treatment for catatonia. The first line of treatment of catatonia is administration of...

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