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Diagnosis and Treatment of Catatonia

Broadcast Date: January 14, 2015
Course Code: A100



Pierre Azzam, MD

UPMC Psychosomatic Medicine Fellowship Program

Priya Gopalan, MD
Associate Medical Director of the Consultation and Liaison Service
Chief of Psychiatric Services
Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC

Program Description:

Catatonia is a syndrome of motor and behavioral features that fluctuates temporally. Common signs include mutism, negativism (purposeless resistance), immobility, posturing, rigidity, repetitive or unusual movements, excitement, echophenomena (repetition of speech or behavior), and ambitendency (being "stuck"). Conceptualized historically as a variant of schizophrenia, catatonia is now known to be precipitated by numerous medical and psychiatric conditions and is frequently misdiagnosed. Given catatonia's heterogeneous presentation and potentially fatal complications, learning to recognize catatonia proves critical to psychiatric care in the general medical setting.

In this workshop, we will provide an overview of catatonia in its historical context, utilize cases to discuss the variability in its presentation, outline common exam findings, describe the medical and psychiatric work-up for the syndrome, and discuss management principles including pharmacologic treatment and electroconvulsive therapy

Educational Objectives:

At the conclusion of the program, participants should be able to:

Describe the heterogeneous nature of catatonia and the considerable variability in presentation of the syndrome.
Assess for the numerous associated signs and symptoms including neurological findings.
Explain the different potential etiologies of catatonia including psychiatric and medical/neurological causes.
Implement management principles for patients with catatonia using pharmacological agents, preventive measures for potential complications, and referral for electroconvulsive therapy when indicated

Target Audience:

This introductory program is directed toward psychiatric and general medical providers, including nurses, social workers, clinicians, and physicians.

Continuing Education Credits:

CADC 2.0

NCC 2.0

Psychologist 2.0
SW 2.0
CEU 0.2

We are pleased to offer CADC, NCC,  Psychologist, Social Work and CEU credits for this webcast.  Please download the test and application form before viewing the webcast:  (Adobe PDF); (MS-Word)

If you have questions, please contact
Nancy Mundy at mundynl@upmc.edu.

Watch Webcast:  Click here to watch this webcast   






















Continuing Education Credit

Each program is offered for the designated number of continuing education credits



Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Office of Education and Regional Programming is certified by the Pennsylvania Chemical Abuse Certification Board (PCACB) to provide Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) continuing education credits for those participants attending the entire program. 



Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5059.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified.  Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic is solely responsible for all aspects of this program. This program is being offered for 2.0 continuing education hours.



Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic is approved by the American Psychological Association to offer continuing education for psychologists.  Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic maintains responsibility for these programs and their contents. These programs are being offered for 2.0 continuing education credits.



The indicated number of clock hours of continuing education is provided through Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC's Office of Educational Resources and Planning, a PA-approved provider of social work continuing education in accordance with all the applicable educational and professional standards of the Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapist. These clock hours satisfy requirements for LSW/LCSW, LPC, and LMFT renewal.



Nurses and other health care professionals are awarded the designated number of Continuing Education Units (CEU). One CEU is equal to 10 contact hours. Nurses: For attendance at this program you will receive a Certificate of Attendance confirming the indicated hours of continuing education. These hours may be considered eligible in completing the 30 hours of continuing education required for bi-annual nursing re-licensure in Pennsylvania. Peer Specialists: This program fulfills requirements for Certified Peer Specialist continuing education.



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