Copyright ©The Author(s) 2016. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Psychiatr. Dec 22, 2016; 6(4): 391-398
Published online Dec 22, 2016. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v6.i4.391
Catatonia: Our current understanding of its diagnosis, treatment and pathophysiology
Sean A Rasmussen, Michael F Mazurek, Patricia I Rosebush
Sean A Rasmussen, MINDS Program, McMaster University, Hamilton L8S 4K1, Ontario, Canada
Michael F Mazurek, Department of Medicine (Neurology), McMaster University, Health Sciences Centre, Hamilton L8N 3Z5, Ontario, Canada
Patricia I Rosebush, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University, St. Joseph’s Healthcare, Hamilton L8N 3K7, Ontario, Canada
Author contributions: All authors contributed to the literature review, data analysis, and manuscript preparation; Mazurek MF and Rosebush PI conducted the patient assessments.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding this manuscript.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Sean A Rasmussen, PhD, MINDS Program, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton L8S 4K1, Ontario, Canada.
Telephone: +1-289-9256176
Received: June 22, 2016
Peer-review started: June 27, 2016
First decision: August 11, 2016
Revised: August 29, 2016
Accepted: October 25, 2016
Article in press: October 27, 2016
Published online: December 22, 2016
Core Tip

Core tip: Catatonia is a complex clinical syndrome occurring in more than 10% of patients with acute psychiatric illnesses, and it is associated with multiple life-threatening complications. In the last several decades, renewed interest in this syndrome has led to a great deal of research and debate regarding its diagnosis and treatment. In this paper, we present a review of the current literature on catatonia along with findings from the 220 cases we have assessed and treated since 1989. Catatonia itself is readily treated using low-dose lorazepam, and it also has important implications for how other underlying psychiatric conditions should be treated.