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Acta Clin Croat. 2013 Dec;52(4):497-505.

Homicide and subsequent catatonia associated with a large arachnoid cyst: case report.


The existence of a focal brain lesion that might be the crucial cause for the development of diverse psychiatric phenomena and certain characteristics of personality is often a controversial issue. The patient was a 29-year-old male when he killed his father with a single knock with the blunt side of an axe. Subsequently to the act, the patient developed a 10-month-long catatonic stupor during which he experienced intensive fear, delusions, and affective symptoms. He was an emotionally blunted person with no medical record and without prior history of aggressive behavior. Magnetic resonance image revealed a large, right-sided arachnoid cyst that was associated with right temporal and frontal lobe hypoplasia and bilateral changes of perfusion in peri-insular regions. The treatment with clozapine and diazepam showed to be therapeutic. This could be the second case of homicide committed by a person with arachnoid cyst and without past history of aggression, and the second description of an adult patient with cyst who developed catatonic stupor. This is the first description of long-lasting organic catatonic stupor treated with clozapine and diazepam. Relevant literature is reviewed and some controversial issues are discussed.

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