Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Hyponatraemia-associated catatonia
  1. Eimear McGuire1,
  2. Mythily Yohanathan2,
  3. Leona Lally2,
  4. Geraldine McCarthy3
  1. 1 Sligo Leitrim Mental Health, St. Columba's Hospital, Sligo, Ireland
  2. 2 Old Age Psychiatry, HSE West, Sligo, Ireland
  3. 3 Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Service, NUI Galway, Sligo, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Eimear McGuire, eimear.mcguire3{at}


This is a case report highlighting the impact of low sodium levels on one’s mental status. For the first time in the literature, we see two discrete episodes of catatonia associated with hyponatraemia occurring in the same patient. On both occasions, his serum sodium levels were depleted; he became profoundly psychotic with catatonic symptoms. Recovery, with complete resolution of all symptoms, was associated with normalisation of these levels. This case exemplifies the profound effect that electrolyte imbalances, in particular sodium depletion can have on a patient’s mental status and is for the first time, we see this effect on two temporally unrelated occasions in the same patient.

  • Psychiatry (drugs And Medicines)
  • Endocrinology
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors The first (EM) and second (MY) authors reviewed the case notes and collated the data. The first author carried out the literature review and wrote the article. The third author (LL) helped to proof-read the article and the final author (GM) oversaw the work and suggested that it be published.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.