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The European Journal of Psychiatry

Print version ISSN 0213-6163


HIDALGO, MD, Diego; PARELLADA, MD, PHD, Eduard; MARTIN-SANTOS, MD, PHD, Rocío  and  BENABARRE, MD, PHD, Antonio. Successful treatment of catatonic syndrome in bipolar I disorder adding aripiprazole to ECT: A case report. Eur. J. Psychiat. [online]. 2012, vol.26, n.3, pp.169-173. ISSN 0213-6163.

Background and Objectives: Catatonic syndrome is a condition presenting in multiple ways, sharing many of them with the neuroleptic malignant syndrome and other diseases. This diagnostic challenge is the main cause of keep treating catatonic syndromes without neuroleptics. Methods: Review of the literature and a case report. Results: We present the case of a 19 years old bipolar I patient with a severe catatonic syndrome, with a torpid clinical evolution, partial response to benzodiazepines and ECT, which successfully resolved with intramuscular aripiprazole. We found through a systematic review (PubMed 2005-2010) that there are few but significant case reports of catatonic syndromes treated with new second generation antipsychotics for different reasons with good outcomes as ours. The pharmacological profile of aripiprazole and the low incidence of NMS reported make it a suitable option in treating this syndrome. Conclusions: We think that this case report could contribute to add more evidence for aripiprazole to be considered a good third-line option in the treatment of catatonic syndrome. However, this would require randomized controlled trials to confirm its effectiveness and safety.

Keywords : Catatonia; Aripiprazole; Second generation antipsychotics; ECT; Bipolar disorder.

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