Published online Jun 22, 2015. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v5.i2.182
Peer-review started: September 28, 2014
First decision: November 19, 2014
Revised: February 12, 2015
Accepted: March 5, 2015
Article in press: March 9, 2015
Published online: June 22, 2015
Core tip: Catatonia is a treatable autonomous syndrome, frequently associated with mood disorders, but also observed in neurological, neurodevelopmental and toxic conditions. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is effective in 80% to 100% of all forms of catatonia, even after pharmacotherapy with benzodiazepines has failed, and is considered first-line treatment in patients with neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Increasing the knowledge on the mechanism of action of ECT in catatonia may contribute to the development of other brain stimulation techniques, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation and deep brain stimulation. ECT response in different subtype of catatonia and efficacy of maintenance ECT in long-term prevention of recurrent catatonia deserve further research.