Catatonia in an Alzheimer's dementia patient

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The present case report is of an 82-year-old woman, a known case of Alzheimer's dementia, referred to the Department of Psychiatry for evaluation regarding the sudden onset of a change in behavior. A diagnosis of catatonia caused by an acute psychotic illness was made. The patient was given a trial of lorazepam, failing which quetiapine was given, leading to complete resolution in 4 weeks. Quetiapine was withdrawn after 3 months and the patient was found to be well in next 6 months of follow up. Catatonia is known to exist in many disorders. In the elderly, it is reported to occur in primarily four types of disorders: organic, psychotic, mood and toxic. However, a few reports also suggest an association between catatonia and Lewy body dementia. There have been no previous reports of catatonia with Alzheimer's dementia. The planning of management is often difficult in such cases, because no single approach has been found to be absolutely effective.

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