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Catatonia as the Presentation of Encephalopathy Associated With Autoimmune Thyroiditis: A Case Report and Literature Review.

Encephalopathy can be associated with autoimmune disorders such as autoimmune thyroiditis, and it can present with a wide range of neuropsychiatric manifestations. However, it rarely presents with catatonia. We present the case of a middle-aged female with Hashimoto's thyroiditis presenting with catatonia. A literature review of previous similar cases highlighting significant points is also included. A 48-year-old female presented to the emergency department with catatonic symptoms that had worsened over the previous 5 days. A similar condition was reported to have occurred and resolved spontaneously 3 months earlier. On examination, the patient appeared uncooperative and unresponsive. She showed typical symptoms of catatonia, with a score of 21 points on the Bush-Francis Catatonia Rating Scale. Routine tests were within normal ranges except for an elevated level of C-reactive protein and an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and cerebrospinal fluid analysis were all normal. An electroencephalogram showed diffuse delta-theta range slowing with no epileptiform discharges. Lorazepam was initiated but did not control the catatonic symptoms. Re-evaluation revealed thyroid swelling and elevated levels of thyroperoxidase antibodies. IV methylprednisolone was therefore initiated and produced complete resolution of the catatonic symptoms in 4 hours. The patient was discharged and prescribed prednisone 1 mg/kg daily. At follow-up, the patient continued to show complete resolution of the catatonic symptoms. It is noteworthy that the patient developed hypothyroidism 6 months after this catatonic episode for which levothyroxine 50 mcg/d was prescribed. Encephalopathy associated with autoimmune thyroiditis can initially present with catatonic symptoms in euthyroid cases. The mainstay of treatment is steroids which result in complete resolution of the catatonic symptoms.

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