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Catatonia : psychomotor akinesis and parakinetic hyperkinesia.

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About this work


This films introduces the condition of Catatonia and then three male case studies. Case 1. Immobile attitude, negativism, catalepsy. Case 2. Rigidity, movements of fingers and face muscles resistant. Case 3. Parakinetic movements.


Germany, 1925.

Physical description

1 encoded moving image (19.30 min.) : silent, black and white




Segment 1 The basic attitude of immobility is introduced, and a male patient is shown sitting in a chair in a very fixed position. Intertitles explain his condition, and a doctor is shown pushing the patient's head backwards and forwards, showing its rigidity. The passivity of the patient's arms is demonstrated, as well as catalepsy of the arms and legs. A doctor raises the patient's limbs and they remain in a fixed position. The first case study is introduced. The patient's symptoms are described by the intertitles and he is seen standing upright, very still. Choreiform, reiterant movements of the fingers, are shown, as well as his facial tics. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:06:33:07 Length: 00:06:33:07
Segment 2 Case 1 continues. The patient has resistance in his eyelids, lower jaw and extensor muscles of his neck, and this is demonstrated by a doctor. The second case study is introduced, and intertitles describe his condition. The patient is seen standing up and sitting down. The parakinetic movements of his right arm and feet are shown, and a doctor provokes resistance by pushing the patient's head. Time start: 00:06:33:07 Time end: 00:12:38:09 Length: 00:06:05:02
Segment 3 Case 2 continues. The intertitles describe the patient has having psychomotoric dyskinesis, with dyskinesis accompanying ocular movements. The movements are more marked on his right side than the left. The third case study is introduced. This patient displays spontaneous behaviour whilst bathing. The patient is seen nude in a bathtub, rolling around. He too has parkinetic movements of arms and hands, as well as reiterant movements of rubbing and shaking. Time start: 00:12:38:09 Time end: 00:19:24:23 Length: 00:06:46:14

Creator/production credits

Produced by Prof. Kleist, Dr. Herz and Frankfurt University

Terms of use

Some restrictions.

Copyright note

British Medical Association.


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