Making childhood catatonia visible, separate from competing diagnoses.

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Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica (Impact Factor: 4.86). 01/2012; 125(1):3-10. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2011.01788.x
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To explore the possibility that autism, catatonia and psychoses in children are different manifestations of a single underlying form of brain pathology - a kind of 'Iron Triangle' of symptomatology - rather than three separate illnesses. METHOD: Systematic evaluation of historical case literature on autism to determine if catatonic and psychotic symptoms accompanied the diagnosis, as is found in some challenging present-day cases. RESULTS: It is clear from the historical literature that by the 1920s all three diagnoses in the Iron Triangle - catatonia, autism and childhood schizophrenia - were being routinely applied to children and adolescents. Furthermore, it is apparent that children diagnosed with one of these conditions often qualified for the other two as well. Although conventional thinking today regards these diagnoses as separate entities, the presence of catatonia in a variety of conditions is being increasingly recognized, and there is also growing evidence of connections between childhood-onset psychoses and autism. CONCLUSION: Recognition of a mixed form of catatonia, autism and psychosis has important implications for both diagnosis and treatment. None of the separate diagnoses provides an accurate picture in these complex cases, and when given single diagnoses such as 'schizophrenia', the standard treatment options may prove markedly ineffective.
    Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 01/2013; · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although catatonia has historically been associated with schizophrenia and is listed as a subtype of the disorder, it can occur in patients with a primary mood disorder and in association with neurological diseases and other general medical conditions. Consequently, catatonia secondary to a general medical condition was included as a new condition and catatonia was added as an episode specifier of major mood disorders in DSM-IV. Different sets of criteria are utilized to diagnose catatonia in schizophrenia and primary mood disorders versus neurological/medical conditions in DSM-IV, however, and catatonia is a codable subtype of schizophrenia but a specifier for major mood disorders without coding. In part because of this discrepant treatment across the DSM-IV manual, catatonia is frequently not recognized by clinicians. Additionally, catatonia is known to occur in several conditions other than schizophrenia, major mood disorders, or secondary to a general medical condition. Four changes are therefore made in the treatment of catatonia in DSM-5. A single set of criteria will be utilized to diagnose catatonia across the diagnostic manual and catatonia will be a specifier for both schizophrenia and major mood disorders. Additionally, catatonia will also be a specifier for other psychotic disorders, including schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder, brief psychotic disorder, and substance-induced psychotic disorder. A new residual category of catatonia not otherwise specified will be added to allow for the rapid diagnosis and specific treatment of catatonia in severely ill patients for whom the underlying diagnosis is not immediately available. These changes should improve the consistent recognition of catatonia across the range of psychiatric disorders and facilitate its specific treatment.
    Schizophrenia Research 06/2013; · 4.43 Impact Factor
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    Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 01/2012; 125(1). · 5.55 Impact Factor