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Open Access Highly Accessed Case report

Treatment of refractory catatonic schizophrenia with low dose aripiprazole

Tsuyoshi Sasaki12*, Tasuku Hashimoto2, Tomihisa Niitsu3, Nobuhisa Kanahara2 and Masaomi Iyo12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Child Psychiatry, Chiba University Hospital, Inohana 1-8-1, Chiba, 260-8670, Japan

2 Department of Psychiatry, Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine, Inohana 1-8-1, Chiba, 260-8670, Japan

3 Research Center for Child Mental Development, Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine, Inohana 1-8-1, Chiba, 260-8670, Japan

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Annals of General Psychiatry 2012, 11:12  doi:10.1186/1744-859X-11-12

Published: 3 May 2012

Abstract

This case is of 54-year-old female with catatonic schizophrenia, characterized by treatment resistance to the pharmacotherapy with olanzapine, risperidone, flunitrazepam, and ECT. Olanzapine and risperidone and flunitrazepam did not improve her catatonic and psychotic symptoms, and induced the extrapyramidal symptoms. The effects of ECT did not continue even for a month. However, the treatment with low-dose aripiprazole dramatically improved the patient’s psychotic symptoms and extrapyramidal symptoms. The mechanisms underlying the effects of low-dose aripiprazole in this case remain unclear, but unlike other antipsychotics, aripiprazole is a dopamine D2 partial agonist. In this regard, our results suggest that aripiprazole has numerous advantages, especially in cases of stuporous catatonia and a defective general status.