Attempted infanticide and suicide inaugurating catatonia associated with Hashimoto’s encephalopathy: a case report

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Catatonia is a neuropsychiatric syndrome with motor and behavioural symptoms. Though usually occurring in patients with schizophrenia and mood disorders, this syndrome may also be associated with neurological diseases or general medical conditions. Few cases of catatonia associated with autoimmune disorders have been described. CASE PRESENTATION: Here, we report the case of a 27-year-old woman diagnosed with Hashimoto's encephalitis (HE) who attempted suicide and infanticide by defenestration. As she presented risk factors for postpartum psychosis, she was treated principally with antipsychotics. Despite adequate treatment for psychosis, symptoms worsened and she developed catatonia. Complementary investigations showed elevated titres of anti-thyroglobulin and anti-thyroperoxidase antibodies (200 and 10 times, respectively, as compared to normal levels) and electroencephalography were suggestive of encephalopathy. In the presence of an otherwise unexplained neuropsychiatric condition, HE was suspected and oral prednisolone was introduced. Psychiatric symptoms improved dramatically within 72 h and the patient was still free of any symptom 3 years later. CONCLUSION: Catatonia of organic aetiology should always be considered before a psychiatric aetiology especially in case of clinical worsening in spite of adequate psychotropic treatment. To our knowledge, this is the first description of catatonia associated with HE.
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Laurence Lalanne, Marie-Emmanuelle Meriot, Elisabeth Ruppert, Marie-Agathe Zimmermann, Jean-Marie Danion, et al.. Attempted infanticide and suicide inaugurating catatonia associated with Hashimoto’s encephalopathy: a case report. BMC Psychiatry, BioMed Central, 2016, 16, pp.13. ⟨10.1186/s12888-016-0719-7⟩. ⟨inserm-02061946⟩

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