The presence of a deep brain stimulator (DBS) in a patient who develops neuropsychiatric symptoms poses unique diagnostic challenges and questions for the treating psychiatrist. Catatonia has been described only once, during DBS implantation, but has not been reported in a successfully implanted DBS patient.
We present a case of a patient with bipolar disorder and renal transplant who developed catatonia after DBS for essential tremor.
The patient was successfully treated for catatonia with lorazepam and electroconvulsive therapy after careful diagnostic workup. Electroconvulsive therapy has been successfully used with DBS in a handful of cases, and certain precautions may help reduce potential risk.
Catatonia is a rare occurrence after DBS but when present may be safely treated with standard therapies such as lorazepam and electroconvulsive therapy.