Article

Onset of catatonia at puberty: electroconvulsive therapy response in two autistic adolescents.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5734, USA.
The journal of ECT (Impact Factor: 1.19). 12/2010; 26(4):274-7. DOI: 10.1097/YCT.0b013e3181de332e
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Catatonia is a syndrome of motor and behavioral disturbance. It is a poorly understood condition, which is underrecognized and may go untreated despite intensive medical workup and numerous unsuccessful medication trials. However, with treatments known to be effective, such as benzodiazepines and/or electroconvulsive therapy, patients may return to their baseline functioning. Autism and catatonia have been previously reported together. We report 2 patients with autism and mental retardation who developed catatonic symptoms at the onset of puberty. Both patients experienced persistent symptoms over several years and presented with a history of motor disturbance, functional decline, and episodic aggression. Both patients were treated with electroconvulsive therapy resulting in a positive response and functional improvement. Catatonia may persist as a chronic condition, lasting over several months or years, if not recognized and treated.

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