Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 413-418

Catatonia in children following systemic illness

1 Department of Neurology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Clinical Neurosciences, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Sadanandavalli Retnaswami Chandra
Department of Neurology, Faculty Block, Neuro Centre, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7176.168582

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Background: The term catatonia was first introduced in 1874 and several etiologies, both organic and psychiatric have been attributed to the clinical phenotype of catatonia. The interesting feature is their response to lorazepam irrespective of their etiology. Patients and Methods: Four patients admitted with verbal and motor unresponsiveness following febrile illness were evaluated for infective and metabolic causes. Those who qualified for catatonia as per Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fifth Edition criteria and Bush-Francis Catatonia Screening Instrument screening tool and rating scale were evaluated in detail and reported. Observations: Catatonia occurs in clusters, females are more affected than males. Electroencephalogram can be abnormal based on the precipitating symptom. Minor changes in serum total iron and transferrin saturation and nonspecific elevation of viral antibody titers are seen in some patients. Lorazepam challenge always gives the diagnosis. Result: All patients where females and had preceeding systemic or CNS infection. Three out of the Four patients where independent at the end of one month. Conclusion: Catatonia should be considered as a differential diagnosis in all children with verbal and motor unresponsiveness, which have no other explanation. Early initiation of treatment is very rewarding at least during short term follow-up.

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