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Catatonic Schizophrenia

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About Catatonic Schizophrenia

It is a kind of symptom that is developed in some patients with schizophrenia. It shows a phase in which an individual moves very little and does not respond to instructions and in extreme condition, one may demonstrate motor activity that is considered “excessive” and “peculiar,” such as echolalia (mimicking sounds) or Echopraxia (mimicking movements) which is called as catatonic excitement. 

In this state one is not able to differentiate between what is real or what is fake and this stage is called psychosis. This disease affects a person in a very extreme way like that individual might stay still or mute, or might be hyperactive for no reason. 

Facts Regarding Catatonic Schizophrenia

Some of the common facts regarding schizophrenia are given below:

A. It mainly happens to those suffering from schizophrenia. 

B. Common symptoms of this disease are flipping between hyperactivity and under activity. 

C. Common risk factors of the catatonic disease are the same as those for schizophrenia in general. 

Symptoms of Catatonic Schizophrenia

Some of the common symptoms of this mental illness are listed below:

  • Stupor – This means the individual has no psychomotor activity, no interaction with the environment

  • Catalepsy – This symptom includes adopting or performing unusual postures.

  • Waxy Flexibility – Under this condition, the individual will not change his/her arm position unless changed by someone, they will remain in the same position till it is moved again. 

  • Mutism –  Such individuals show only limited verbal responses.

  • Negativism –  Individuals show very little or no response to instructions or external stimuli.

  • Posturing – In this condition, individuals will be actively holding a posture against gravity.

  • Mannerism – Performing or carrying out odd, exaggerated actions

  • Stereotypy – Showing or performing repetitive movements without an apparent reason

  • Agitation – for no known reason

  • Grimacing

  • Echolalia – mimicking another person’s speech

  • Echopraxia – mimicking another person’s movements

Risk of Catatonic Schizophrenia

  • Genetics – If in a family anyone is suffering from schizophrenia than in that case individuals have the risk of developing it themselves. 

  • Viral Infection – In early age cases like in children, it may also develop from viral infection. 

  • Fetal Malnutrition – If during pregnancy stage one is not fed with proper nutrition, the foetus has chances of developing schizophrenia. 

  • Stress during Early Life –  One of the common causes of developing schizophrenia is stress in life.

  • Childhood abuse or Trauma - It can also be a reason behind developing schizophrenia. 

  • Age of Parents at Birth – Individuals older in age have a higher risk of having children who develop schizophrenia.

  • Drugs – Consuming drugs that affect the mind during adolescence may increase the risk of developing schizophrenia.

Diagnosis of Catatonic Schizophrenia

Methods by which catatonic schizophrenia can be diagnosed are:

A. Physical Exam – By proper examination of the patient's height, weight, heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature. The doctor will listen to the heart and lungs and check the abdomen.

B. CBC (complete blood count) – Counting of blood is done to check for alcohol and drugs, as well as thyroid function of the body. 

C. MRI or CT Scan – The aim behind performing this checkup is to look for any abnormalities in brain structure.

D. EEG (electroencephalogram) – To check for brain function.

E. Psychological Evaluation – In this process, a psychiatrist will ask the patient (if possible) about their thoughts, feelings, and behaviour patterns. They will also be asked about the symptoms, when they started, how severe they are, and how they affect the patient’s life. They will also ask whether the patient has thoughts about harming themselves or others.

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FAQs on Catatonic Schizophrenia

Q1. Explain a Few Common Symptoms of Catatonic Schizophrenia Disease?

Ans. Some of the common symptoms of catatonic schizophrenia are:

  • Not moving

  • Not talking

  • Sluggish response

  • Staring

  • Mimicking someone’s movements or speech over and over

  • Tapping feet again and again. 

Q2.  Which Electronic and Magnetic treatment Method is used in treating Catatonic Schizophrenia?

Ans. Treatment method using electric and magnetic field are:

A. Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT): By this technology doctors remove half or all most symptoms of the individual. In this technique a burst of different volt current is used through a cap on your head to reach your brain. The treatment can leave you with confusion and temporary memory loss.

B. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS): In this treatment procedure patients wear a device on their head that sends out a magnetic pulse to activate nerve cells in their brain. By this treatment doctors target specific regions of the brain better than ECT can. It may also cause thinking problems or loss of memory. 

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