Lithium in the treatment of periodic catatonia: A case report

Robert D. Sovner, Paul R. Mohugh

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5 Scopus citations


A case of periodic catatonia is described in which cyclical changes in the blood urea nitrogen (BUN), blood pressure, and pulse rate were detected and found to be positively correlated with the patient’s periodic episodes of catatonic behavior. Following the diagnostic study the patient was treated with lithium carbonate for 69 days. Although the drug did not influence the course of the illness, it did dissociate the periodic psychopathology from the metabolic concomitants, i.e., the BUN remained stable, there was no “adrenergic shift” with relapse, and the previously positive correlations did not occur. This is a hitherto unreported effect of lithium. Possible mechanisms of actions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-221
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1974
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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