We define the catatonic syndrome and review the history of the concept of catatonia, including its recent acceptance as a syndrome. Diagnosis of the catatonic syndrome, with its associated extensive differential diagnoses related to systemic and mental disorders, is addressed. Catatonia is related to variants of the syndrome, such as lethal (malignant) catatonia and the neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). Medical sequelae of these conditions are outlined. The literature on the treatment of the catatonic syndrome is reviewed, and a suggested approach to treatment and management of catatonic patients in the intensive care unit is provided. An hypothesis regarding the neuropathophysiological basis for the syndrome is also offered.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine