The pharmacological treatment of catatonia: an overview

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Abstract

Over the past two decades, catatonia, particularly its acutely emerging akinetic-hypokinetic (stuporous) variant, has gradually regained its importance in descriptive psychopathology. Electroconvulsive therapy and lately benzodiazepines are not only effective treatment options in this form of catatonia, but also helped generate neurobiological hypotheses concerning its pathophysiology. Within this broad framework, this paper summarizes the results of recent benzodiazepine treatment response studies in catatonic movement disorders with particular reference to the authors' own studies in Chinese patients with catatonia.