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Catatonia is a neuropsychiatric syndrome characterized mainly by motor disturbances, known to be caused by a variety of psychiatric, medical, neurological and toxic conditions.
There have been few cases reported in the literature of catatonia due to benzodiazepine withdrawal, with predominance in elderly population. Here we report the case of an elderly woman with initial symptoms of dementia and abuse of lorazepam, who showed catatonic symptoms after a sudden reduction of her habitual daily dose during hospitalization.
A 73 year old woman with a history of depression and recently onset of cognitive impairment compatible with dementia, was admitted at the psychiatry ward after the worsening of the behavioural disturbances. The patient had been a regular user of lorazepam for more than 10 years, which was maintained at the same dose. After two days she abruptly presented symptoms of inhibited catatonia. A family member reported on further enquiries a suspicion of abuse of lorazepam treatment.
After administration of intravenous Diazepam, a dramatic recovery was observed, and sustained improvement was achieved after an increment of the habitual lorazepam dose. Psychiatric and medical conditions were ruled-out during follow-up, and diagnosis of dementia of Alzheimer type was made after further assessments.
Benzodiazepine withdrawal is not an often, but still important cause of catatonia. Older patients are at special risk, as the increased probability of being hospitalized exposes them to sudden suspension or reduction of their habitual treatment. Nevertheless, aged related vulnerability to catatonia has not been well studied yet.
Several studies have stated the possitive effects of physical exercise over mental health, mainly in clinical samples. However, the results of these experimental estudies might not be generalized to general population. Some authors propose that physical activity could be not really promoting a psychological benefit but, instead, be a consequence of some personal or circumstantial features that would be acting as confusion factors. Personality, as it involves a steady pattern of behaviors, is theorized to arise as one of these factors.
Our objective was to assess the relationship between personality features and voluntary physical activity in a medical resident sample from Hospital 12 de Octubre (Madrid).
High levels of voluntary physical activity will be associated to high scores on extraversion and conscientiousness dimensions after assessing personality.
The project has been conducted as a transversal descriptive study. Sample: 80 first-year medical residents, ages 23 to 40, and no story of mental disorder, nor chronic disabilities. Main variables: voluntary physical activity measured through International Physical Activity Questionary (IPAQ) and personality features assessed through Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R) as proposed from the 5 factors model (neuroticism, extraversion, openess, agreeableness and conscientiouness).
Frequency measures have been used to describe qualitative variables. Arithmetic mean and standard deviation were used to describe quantitative variables. Pearson's correlation was used in order to study the relationship between scores on physical activity and personality factors.
We present preliminary results from first stage of the study, as well implications are discused.
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