Refractory Catatonia in Old Age: A Case Report

Emma Bean; Callum Findlay; Claire Gee; Jay Amin


J Med Case Reports. 2021;15(406) 

In This Article


There remain significant limitations in our knowledge of how catatonia presents in old age. In this case report, the unsuccessful treatment of catatonia in an elderly patient highlights several clinical implications for this age group. We recommend early consideration of catatonia in old-age mental health services and acute medical services if relevant clinical features are present. Once catatonia has been recognized, it is important to ensure the early use of ECT owing to reduced tolerability of benzodiazepines in the elderly, as we know that prompt treatment improves outcomes in this age group. We recommend that further exploration of the presentation, course, and treatment of catatonia in the elderly is essential to improve clinical outcomes in this population.