In the aftermath of a cerebrovascular accident, a 66-year-old male patient with a recurrent depressive disorder displayed prolonged stupor, mutism, negativism, immobility, catalepsia and posturing. The abrupt improvement of his symptoms directly after administering oral lorazepam confirmed the diagnosis of catatonia. Subsequent titration of lorazepam reduced the catatonic symptoms, but did not completely resolve them. Propofol infusion given for an unrelated reason led to an abrupt, remarkable and complete remission of the catatonic symptoms. This article contains a case report, description of the possible pathophysiological explanation for the beneficial effect of propofol on catatonia and a review of literature.
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