Treatment of Paroxysmal Perceptual Alteration in Catatonic Schizophrenia by Switching to Aripiprazole from Risperidone: A Case ReportAuthor(s): Satoko Yamashita, Tsuyoshi Miyaoka, Michiharu Nagahama, Masa Ieda, Keiko Tsuchie, Rei Wake, Jun Horiguchi
Paroxysmal perceptual alteration (PPA) is the occurrence of brief and recurrent episodes of perceptual changes. It is mainly caused by the treatment of schizophrenia patients with antipsychotics. However, diagnosis of PPA is not very prevalent among psychiatrists, partly due to underrecognition or misunderstanding that it is a worsening of psychiatric symptoms. If psychiatrists do not understand PPA, they cannot treat it appropriately, and the patient’s quality of life is impaired. We present a case of PPA in catatonic schizophrenia that was successfully treated by switching to aripiprazole from risperidone. We suggest that the disappearance of PPA in our case was due to both discontinuing risperidone, which completely blocks D2 receptors, and replacing it with aripiprazole, which is characterized as a partial agonist of D2 receptors. Treatment of PPA will improve medication adherence and quality of life. It is important to recognize PPA as a possible side effect of treatment with antipsychotics.