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Symptoms and Diagnoses 

Symptoms and Diagnoses
Symptoms and Diagnoses

Edward Shorter

and Max Fink

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date: 09 March 2021

Even as researchers became aware that the neuroleptic drug–induced neurotoxic syndrome was best treated as catatonia, signs of catatonia were found more often among depressed and manic populations than among the schizophrenic. Catatonia as a sign of schizophrenia was challenged, with calls for catatonia to be recognized as a systemic independent syndrome. In 1987, James Lohr and Alexander Wisniewski laid a heavy thumb on the independent-disease side of the scales in a book, citing evidence that catatonia represents a distinct entity, but that it should be diagnosed on the basis of motor signs alone. These challenges questioned the connection of catatonia to schizophrenia. The increasing reports of deaths as a consequence of treating catatonia with potent neuroleptics stimulated interest in effective treatments and forced the separation of catatonia from schizophrenia.

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