Skip to main content

Catatonia—Phenomenology, Psychopathology, and Pathophysiology

Abstract

The chapter provides an overview about catatonia. Catatonia is a psychomotor syndrome that can be characterized by a peculiar constellation of affective, motor, and behavioral symptoms. Phenomenologically, these patients often report intense and uncontrollable anxieties which they cannot control. These can occur in the context of various psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, depression, and mania. I conclude that catatonia is a final common functional pathway into which different disorders can converge.

Keywords

  • Catatonia
  • Kahlbaum
  • Intense anxieties
  • Motor and behavioral changes
  • Syndrome

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-29945-7_18
  • Chapter length: 9 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-29945-7
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   199.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

References

  • Bleuler, E. (1911). Dementia praecox or the group o schizophrenias (J. Zinkin, Trans.). New York: International Universities Press, 1950.

    Google Scholar 

  • Caroff, S. N. (1980). The neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 41(3), 79–83.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Fink, M. (2013). Rediscovering catatonia: The biography of a treatable syndrome. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. Supplementum, 127(441), 1–47. doi:10.1111/acps.12038.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kahlbaum, K. (1874). Die Katatonie oder das Spannungsirresein: Eine klinische Form psychishcer krankheit. Berlin: Hirshwald. [Translated: Y. Levy & T. Pridon (Trans.). (1973). Catatonia. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press.]

    Google Scholar 

  • Krapelin, E. (1887). Psychiatrie: Ein kurzes Lehrbuch fuer Studierende und Aerzte (2nd ed.). Leipzig: Ambr Abel.

    Google Scholar 

  • Northoff, G. (1996). Neuroleptic malignant syndrome and catatonia: One entity or two? Biological Psychiatry, 40(5), 431–433.

    CAS  CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Northoff, G. (1997). Katatonie: Einführung in die Phänomenologie, Klinik und Pathophysiologie eines psychomotorischen Syndroms [Catatonia: Introduction into the phenomenology, clinic, and pathophysiology of a psychomotor syndrome]. Stuttgart: Ferdinand Enke Verlag.

    Google Scholar 

  • Northoff, G. (2000). Brain imaging in catatonia: Current findings and a pathophysiologic model. CNS Spectrums, 5(7), 34–46.

    CAS  CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Northoff, G. (2002a). Catatonia and neuroleptic malignant syndrome: Psychopathology and pathophysiology. Journal of Neural Transmission, 109(12), 1453–1467. Review.

    CAS  CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Northoff, G. (2002b). What catatonia can tell us about “top-down modulation”: A neuropsychiatric hypothesis. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 25(5), 555–577. Discussion 578–604. Review.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Northoff, G. (2010). Options for the treatment of febrile catatonia. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 35(4), E5–E6. No abstract available.

    CrossRef  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Northoff, G. (2014a). Unlocking the brain (Coding, Vol. I). New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Northoff, G. (2014b). Unlocking the brain (Consciousness, Vol. II). New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Northoff, G. (2014c). Minding the brain. Introduction to neuroscience & philosophy. London: Palgrave MacMillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Northoff, G., Bermpohl, F., Schoeneich, F., & Boeker, H. (2007). How does our brain constitute defense mechanisms? First-person neuroscience and psychoanalysis. Psychotheraphy and Psychosomatics, 76(3), 141–153.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Northoff, G., Kötter, R., Baumgart, F., Danos, P., Boeker, H., Kaulisch, T., et al. (2004). Orbitofrontal cortical dysfunction in akinetic catatonia: A functional magnetic resonance imaging study during negative emotional stimulation. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 30(2), 405–427.

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Northoff, G., Krill, W., Wenke, J., Travers, H., & Pflug, B. (1996). [The subjective experience in catatonia: Systematic study of 24 catatonic patients]. Psychiatrische Praxis, 23(2), 69–73.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Northoff, G., Steinke, R., Czcervenka, C., Krause, R., Ulrich, S., Danos, P., et al. (1999). Decreased density of GABA-A receptors in the left sensorimotor cortex in akinetic catatonia: Investigation of in vivo benzodiazepine receptor binding. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 67(4), 445–450.

    CAS  CrossRef  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Richter, A., Grimm, S., & Northoff, G. (2010). Lorazepam modulates orbitofrontal signal changes during emotional processing in catatonia. Human Psychopharmacology, 25(1), 55–62. doi:10.1002/hup.1084.

    CAS  CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Stauder, K. H. (1934). Die toedliche Katatonie. Archiv für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten, 102, 614–634.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Georg Northoff .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Northoff, G. (2016). Catatonia—Phenomenology, Psychopathology, and Pathophysiology. In: Stanghellini, G., Aragona, M. (eds) An Experiential Approach to Psychopathology. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-29945-7_18

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-29945-7_18

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-29943-3

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-29945-7

  • eBook Packages: MedicineMedicine (R0)