Videos on Catatonia (Updated 2.1.14)

VIDEOS WILL BE UPDATED IN DUE COURSE

There are some instructive videos on Catatonia produced by Pathescope Productions in the 1940’s. The videos are displayed below. Catatonia is a disorder of movement and affect that can occur in a number of conditions. The Pathescope films are specifically about people with Schizophrenia although they occur in other mental illnesses such as mood disorders as well as medical conditions including Central Pontine Myelinolysis (see Appendix for other posts on Catatonia). The features of Catatonia vary from one person to another and this condition can improve with treatment. Various lines of evidence suggest that the Basal Ganglia plays an important role in Catatonia.  More recently in the work on the new diagnostic manual DSM-V it has been proposed that Catatonia’s direct and circumscribed association with Schizophrenia should be removed and instead that it should be described as occurring or not occurring with a broad range of illnesses such as Schizophrenia and Mood Disorders. Indeed there has been a suggestion that Catatonia has been underrecognised. However Professor Fink in an excellent article in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry argues that Catatonia merits a category of its own in DSM-V. His discussion of Self-Injurious Behaviours in relation to Catatonia are particularly interesting. Below are a number of videos illustrating different features of Catatonia (although there are many remaining features not contained in this selection of videos).

Echopraxia

In Echopraxia the person experiences a compulsion to imitate the actions of others. The video above compares Echopraxia with a person who is simply following the actions of the examiner. The differences are fairly subtle although it can be seen that in the lady displaying Echopraxia, the movements are more exaggerated, with a rapid onset perhaps relating to affect. Echopraxia can be accompanied by Echolalia in which the person will echo another person’s speech.

Postural Mannerisms

In Catatonia, certain postures can be maintained for extensive periods of time. They may look uncomfortable to the observer particularly as we would expect muscle fatigue. Whilst to the untrained observer it may appear that this is entirely volitional it should be borne in mind that a disorder which affects the delicate interplay of agonists and antagonist muscle groups may make such postures more comfortable. However despite the length of time over which Catatonia has been described a convincing integrated psychophysiological explanation is still needed.

Negativism

In Negativism the person will display a rigidity in which the examiner’s movements are resisted. In the context of other features of Catatonia this again may relate to the regulation of tone in muscle groups.

Stereotypies and Mannerisms

In Catatonia there are two types of movements which are distinguished from each other by the goal of those movements (sometimes described as adaptive and non-adapative movements). Thus Stereotypies are non-goal directed and Mannerisms are goal-directed. As examples, in Stereotypies a person may continue to draw their hand to their mouth but will not complete the movement. With Mannerisms, the person may brush their coat repeatedly. Although this would be understandable if they were brushing something off the coat on one occasion, the actions start to lose their meaning after multiple repetitions.

Waxy Flexibility

In Waxy Flexibility (Latin: Cerea Flexibilitas) when the person is moved into a position by the examiner they will remain in that position for some time. However over time this position will gradually return to the usual resting position.

Appendix – Other Posts on Catatonia

A Case of Pontine and Extrapontine Myelonolysis with Catatonia

A Case Report of Catatonia

An index of the site can be found here. The page contains links to all of the articles in the blog in chronological order. Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

2 thoughts on “Videos on Catatonia (Updated 2.1.14)

  1. AKO Webmail

    Please tell me that youre heading to keep this up! Its so superior and so important. I cant wait to read far more from you. I just feel like you know so very much and know how to make people listen to what you have to say. This blog is just as well cool to be missed. Good things, really. Please, PLEASE keep it up!

    Like

  2. Panic Away Review - No More Anxiety

    There are also non-drug therapies that you can use such as psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, support groups, relaxation
    techniques and acupuncture. A person experiences the panic-causing anxiety disorder
    due to a lot of circumstances that surround him. When you exercise you become empowered, your thoughts become more positive and your outlook
    on life changes. Having said this, stress and panic attack can not generally be concluded as always directly related because if
    your stress is caused by internal factors, it does not always cause panic
    attacks.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s