Difference Between Akinetic Mutism and Catatonia


Catatonia and akinetic mutism are both weather condition associated with a person’s mental state and mental office. Where catatonia presents with similar symptoms every bit akinetic mutism, the condition is not a result of traumatic events (as seen in akinetic mutism), but rather most common in patients diagnosed with mental illnesses. The two conditions overlap in many aspects, however, the mechanisms behind the causes and the treatment plans differ greatly. This provides a clearer understanding of what truly distinguishes catatonia and akinetic mutism from each other.

Difference between Akinetic Mutism and Catatonia

Definition and Pathophysiology

Catatonia is the group definition for symptoms including lack of movement and communication, accompanied past restlessness, agitation, and/or states of confusion and delirium. This condition was previously classified as a type of schizophrenia; however, specialist physicians of today’south fourth dimension have come to understand that other medical weather condition and mental illnesses can alter the metabolic systems in the body, resulting in a catatonic country.

There are three main types of catatonias, including:

  • Akinetic catatonia: the most commonly occurring blazon. Patients suffering from akinetic catatonia are ofttimes unresponsive, stare blankly when spoken to, and often won’t move out of unusual sitting or laying positions.
  • Excited catatonia: a type where patients move around impulsively and pointlessly. Those diagnosed with excited catatonia are ofttimes agitated, delirious, and replicate movements when somebody is trying to aid them.
  • Cancerous catatonia: the dangerous blazon. Malignant catatonia causes symptoms which atomic number 82 to additional wellness issues such as a dangerous change in heart rate, blood pressure level, rate of breathing, and intense changes in body temperature. When this state of catatonia occurs for a long time, issues such as claret clots and kidney failure could consequence.
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Akinetic mutism involves the severe slowing and absence of body movement and oral communication patterns. Information technology is a rare condition that has been reported in patients (often children) suffering encephalon tumours, central nervous system infections (both bacterial or viral infections), a condition where there is accumulation of fluid in the encephalon termed hydrocephalus, and on the rare occasion as a post-operative complication. Akinetic mutism results in a severely reduced mental role only a present wakefulness and preserved self-awareness.

Potential causes

Medical specialists and physicians notwithstanding aren’t quite sure what the cause behind catatonia is. What has been noted, is that the 3 types of catatonias present well-nigh often in patients who are suffering mental illnesses including psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder (makes up virtually a third of these patients), mood disorders, and depression. In that location are a few physical disorders that may result in catatonia without accompanying mental illness. These include atmospheric condition altering torso chemistry, infections in the brain (such as encephalitis), and neurodegenerative disorders (such every bit Parkinson’south disease)

Akinetic mutism can be the result of a stroke occurring in the thalamus of the encephalon, infections such as meningitis, trauma to the brain, astute encephalitis, a resultant condition of oxygen starvation to the encephalon, the occurrence of tumours and cysts, aneurysms, and central nervous systems infections.


Doctors will most likely diagnose a patient as catatonic if they nowadays with whatsoever three of the following symptoms:

  • Unresponsive to people or the surrounding environment
  • Mimicking somebody’s movements or speech
  • Agitated or resist body adjustment
  • Keeping the body in an unusual position
  • Non speaking
  • Repetitive, pointless body movements

The symptoms of akinetic mutism, on the other hand, are equally follows:

  • Reduced and/or absence motor functions (not complete paralysis)
  • Reduced and/or absence of speech capabilities
  • Reduction or absence of inhibition and emotions
  • Blah motility and ever-present slowness
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Catatonia is diagnosed when patients present with any 3 of the to a higher place listed symptoms. Abnormal vital signs (such every bit tachycardia and high blood pressure level), coupled with poor oral intake of nutrient and fluids, are additional diagnostic signs that a patient is catatonic.

Akinetic mutism can be misdiagnosed every bit a mental health affliction such equally depression. This is because the cases often present similarly, merely correct diagnosis is of import for adequate and effective treatment. In addition to brain scans and claret tests, akinetic mutism is diagnosed when patients present with a reduced or severely dumb (sometimes loss) state in most motor and spoken communication functions and may sometimes nowadays with a level alertness and response.


Catatonia is normally treated with a benzodiazepine sedative, also used to care for feet. In severe cases where sedative treatment doesn’t piece of work or firsthand life-saving action is needed, electroconvulsive therapy is an option. Electroconvulsive therapy is a handling that sends electrical impulses into the encephalon through electrodes that have been positioned on forth the head.

Akinetic mutism is treated according to the severity and crusade, and may include:

  • Magnesium sulphate
  • Removal or draining of cysts causing the status
  • Dopamine therapy

In other cases, there is no viable treatment pick for the patient.

Table of comparison between akinetic mutism and catatonia

Summary of  Akinetic Mutism and Catatonia

Akinetic mutism presents as astringent slowing of torso movements and speech patterns and is usually a result of a traumatic consequence to the brain. Catatonia can present as an akinetic state, an excited state, or a state of mind which results in severe health issues. Catatonia is usually caused by disorders associated with mental illnesses, but an absolute cause is non yet fully understood.

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What is Akinetic catatonia?

Akinetic catatonia is the most commonly occurring type of catatonic country. Patients are mostly unresponsive, stare blankly when spoken to, and ofttimes won’t move out of unusual body positions.

Is akinetic mutism coma?

Akinetic mutism is not a coma merely tin easily be mistaken for one. Patients with akinetic mutism are fully awake and responsive with the ability to communicate just non through a suitable verbal response (sometimes present but significantly delayed) and usually void of emotions. Paralysis or coma are not accounted for symptoms of akinetic mutism.

How long does akinetic mutism last?

Akinetic mutism tin can occur over a brusk-term (a few months) when the crusade can be rapidly reversed or treated, or information technology may be life-long if the crusade resulted in permanent damage to the brain.

How do yous describe catatonia?

Catatonia or catatonic state happens when symptoms including lack of movement and communication, restlessness, agitation, and/or states of defoliation and delirium occur together.

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