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New Faces of Catatonia? 

New Faces of Catatonia?
New Faces of Catatonia?

Edward Shorter

and Max Fink

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date: 05 March 2021

Initially, the stuporous, excited (delirious mania), and febrile neurotoxic forms (neuroleptic malignant syndrome) of catatonia were recognized as distinctive. As catatonia became systematically defined by symptoms identified in lists of symptom rating scales, verified by benzodiazepine challenge tests, and validated by responses to treatments by benzodiazepines (lorazepam, diazepam) and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), other syndromes met these criteria—anti-NMDAR encephalitis, self-injurious behavior (SIB), selective mutism, pervasive refusal syndrome, and akinetic mutism, among others. Such classification brought these syndromes within the catatonia variants, relieved by catatonia treatments. Such identification is feasible when clinicians consider the medical (Sydenham) model of diagnosis, the process of identification by symptoms, verification by objective tests, and validation by response to specific treatments.

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