• Of 123 acutely ill patients with bipolar affective disease, 28% exhibited clinical signs of catatonia. We were unable to differentiate manics with catatonic signs from manics without catatonic signs with regard to demographic characteristics, psychopathology, and the prevalence and pattern of psychiatric illness in their first-degree relatives. Our sample was similar to previously studied groups of manics. Although generally held to be associated with schizophrenia and of poor prognostic import, catatonic signs did not predict a poor treatment response in our manic patients.
These data support the growing body of evidence demonstrating that catatonic signs are nonspecific and may be highly prevalent among patients with bipolar affective disease.