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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 57 (2015) 2, 94 - 98

Short report

Characteristics of catatonia in schizophrenia and mood disorders

S. van den Ameele, B. Sabbe, M. Morrens

background Catatonia is a psychomotor symptom cluster that co-occurs with schizophrenia and with mood disorders. The characterisation and the differentiation of psychomotor symptom clusters can contribute to a more accurate diagnosis and a better understanding of underlying neurobiological processes.
aim To compare epidemiology, clinical presentation and treatment of catatonia in schizophrenia and in mood disorders.
method We reviewed the literature using PubMed.
results Catatonia is highly prevalent in both schizophrenia and mood disorders, but is slightly more prevalent in the latter. In spite of a considerable overlap, there are differentiating trends in the catatonic symptom profile of schizophrenia and mood disorders. In both of these disorders catatonia is a marker for increasing severity of the course of the illness. Compared to catatonia in mood disorders, catatonia in schizophrenia has a poorer response to benzodiazepines and ect.
conclusion Catatonia in schizophrenia and mood disorders is characterized by a distinctive profile. Comparative research on clinical presentation and neurobiological processes is warranted in order to arrive at a more accurate characterisation of these psychomotor symptom clusters.

keywords catatonia, mood disorders, schizophrenia