catalepsy (kătˈəlĕpˌsē) [key], pathological condition characterized by a loss of consciousness accompanied by rigidity of muscles that keeps limbs in any position in which they are placed. Attacks vary from several minutes to days and occur in a variety of clinical syndromes, most frequently in schizophrenia, epilepsy, and hysteria.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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