Sudden "brain death" occurring in various psychoses is reported in the literature under the designations of "delirium acutum," "délire aigu," "tödliche Katatonie" and others. The symptoms and clinical course of this condition are apparently uniform, but there is no agreement as to its classification. Ladame1 and Redalié2 stated that the disorder is based on clinicopathologic findings which they classed as specific, while Scheidegger3 and Jahn and Greving4 expressed the belief that it is a syndrome and complication of various psychoses, usually schizophrenia. Stauder5 expressed the opinion that it is a definite disease unit because it usually occurs in hereditarily tainted persons with constitutional vasomotor instability who are otherwise physically and mentally normal.
The onset is abrupt; the duration is brief, usually from several days to a few weeks, and the outcome is always fatal. The symptoms are both mental and physical, the latter
Malamud N, Boyd DA. SUDDEN "BRAIN DEATH" IN SCHIZOPHRENIA WITH EXTENSIVE LESIONS IN THE CEREBRAL CORTEX. Arch NeurPsych. 1939;41(2):352-364. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1939.02270140138011