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J ECT. 2012 Sep;28(3):e27-8. doi: 10.1097/YCT.0b013e31824e9228.

Electroconvulsive therapy for the treatment of organic catatonia due to viral encephalitis.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India.


Catatonia is a common presentation to psychiatric services in developing countries. Medical causes of catatonia are common and are difficult to treat. A 20-year-old woman presented with an acute illness consisting of fever, delirium, perceptual abnormalities, and catatonic state. After trials with antiviral medications, benzodiazepines, and atypical antipsychotic medications, she was treated with 6 sessions of electroconvulsive therapy with complete recovery and no complications. Catatonia arising in the background of organic pathology can be treated on similar lines as in other psychiatric disorders. Electroconvulsive therapy can be a safe option that needs consideration in such cases after ruling out the contraindications.

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