Psychiatric Annals

Feature Articles 

Genetic Correlates of the Nosology of Catatonia

Gerald Stöber, MD

Abstract

Psychomotor disorders have attracted increasing attention in relation to basic theoretical and clinical problems of psychiatry. We propose a differentiation of catatonic psychoses into quantitative psychomotor disorders (hyperkinetic-akinetic motility psychosis) and qualitative disturbances (periodic catatonia and systematic catatonias). The cycloid motility psychosis exhibits low heritability in family and twin studies and reversible functional abnormalities in cerebral metabolism. Systematic catatonias appeared in most cases to be sporadic, and among potential prenatal risk factors, the excess of mid-gestational maternal infections indicates early neurodevelopmental disturbances. In contrast, periodic catatonia is strongly transmitted within pedigrees.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gerald Stöber is with the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.

Address correspondence to: Gerald Stöber, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Würzburg, Füchsleinstr. 15, 97080 Würzburg, Germany; fax +49-931-201-77020; or email stoeber_g@klinik.uni-wuerzburg.de.

The author disclosed no relevant financial relationship.

Acknowledgment: This study was supported by the German Research Foundation (Sto 390/2-1).

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

  1. Describe the Wernicke-Kleist-Leonhard classification system for catatonia.
  2. Review genetic studies of catatonic subtypes.
  3. Identify the proposed differences in etiologies of catatonic subtypes.

Abstract

Psychomotor disorders have attracted increasing attention in relation to basic theoretical and clinical problems of psychiatry. We propose a differentiation of catatonic psychoses into quantitative psychomotor disorders (hyperkinetic-akinetic motility psychosis) and qualitative disturbances (periodic catatonia and systematic catatonias). The cycloid motility psychosis exhibits low heritability in family and twin studies and reversible functional abnormalities in cerebral metabolism. Systematic catatonias appeared in most cases to be sporadic, and among potential prenatal risk factors, the excess of mid-gestational maternal infections indicates early neurodevelopmental disturbances. In contrast, periodic catatonia is strongly transmitted within pedigrees.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gerald Stöber is with the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.

Address correspondence to: Gerald Stöber, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Würzburg, Füchsleinstr. 15, 97080 Würzburg, Germany; fax +49-931-201-77020; or email stoeber_g@klinik.uni-wuerzburg.de.

The author disclosed no relevant financial relationship.

Acknowledgment: This study was supported by the German Research Foundation (Sto 390/2-1).

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

  1. Describe the Wernicke-Kleist-Leonhard classification system for catatonia.
  2. Review genetic studies of catatonic subtypes.
  3. Identify the proposed differences in etiologies of catatonic subtypes.

Psychomotor disorders have attracted increasing attention in relation to basic theoretical and clinical problems of psychiatry. We propose a differentiation of catatonic psychoses into quantitative psychomotor disorders (hyperkinetic-akinetic motility psychosis) and qualitative disturbances (periodic catatonia and systematic catatonias). The cycloid motility psychosis exhibits low heritability in family and twin studies and reversible functional abnormalities in cerebral metabolism. Systematic catatonias appeared in most cases to be sporadic, and among potential prenatal risk factors, the excess of mid-gestational maternal infections indicates early neurodevelopmental disturbances. In contrast, periodic catatonia is strongly transmitted within pedigrees.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gerald Stöber is with the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.

Address correspondence to: Gerald Stöber, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Würzburg, Füchsleinstr. 15, 97080 Würzburg, Germany; fax +49-931-201-77020; or email stoeber_g@klinik.uni-wuerzburg.de.

The author disclosed no relevant financial relationship.

Acknowledgment: This study was supported by the German Research Foundation (Sto 390/2-1).

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

  1. Describe the Wernicke-Kleist-Leonhard classification system for catatonia.
  2. Review genetic studies of catatonic subtypes.
  3. Identify the proposed differences in etiologies of catatonic subtypes.

10.3928/00485713-20070101-01

Sign up to receive

Journal E-contents