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J ECT. 2007 Mar;23(1):21-2.

Catatonia in autistic twins: role of electroconvulsive therapy.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry Hillside Hospital, Glen Oaks, NY 11004, USA.


Autism and Asperger disorder are pervasive developmental disorders that impair social interactions and communications. They are characterized by repetitive and stereotyped behaviors. Catatonia, a syndrome which is most often associated with schizophrenia and affective disorders, is seen in up to 6% of patients with autistic spectrum disorders and in 12% to 17% of adolescents with these disorders. Catatonic symptoms in these cases have been responsive to treatment with electroconvulsive therapy. We report a case of adolescent identical twins with PDD/Asperger disorder who exhibited catatonia and were successfully treated with electroconvulsive therapy.

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