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ABSTRACTNeurosyphilis can present with psychiatric symptoms. The late form can occur in old age with psychosis, paranoid delusions, affective disorders or cognitive impairment. Here we present a case of neurosyphilis in an elderly woman who, over six months, progressively manifested personality changes and paranoid delusions which were initially suspected as Alzheimer's disease. Psychotic symptoms showed a good response to antibiotic treatment. We conclude that neurosyphilis is a relevant differential diagnosis in patients developing severe psychiatric symptoms in old age. As a causal antibiotic treatment is possible this infectious disease should be considered seriously in gerontopsychiatric patients.
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: International psychogeriatrics / IPA
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Disorders in which the essential feature is a severe disturbance in mood (depression, anxiety, elation, and excitement) accompanied by psychotic symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, gross impairment in reality testing, etc.
Agents that control agitated psychotic behavior, alleviate acute psychotic states, reduce psychotic symptoms, and exert a quieting effect. They are used in schizophrenia, senile dementia, transient psychosis following surgery or myocardial infarction, etc. These drugs are often referred to as neuroleptics alluding to the tendency to produce neurological side effects, but not all antipsychotics are likely to produce such effects. Many of these drugs may also be effective against nausea, emesis, and pruritus.
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The condition of harboring an infective organism without manifesting symptoms of infection. The organism must be readily transmissible to another susceptible host.
A behavior disorder originating in childhood in which the essential features are signs of developmentally inappropriate inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Although most individuals have symptoms of both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity, one or the other pattern may be predominant. The disorder is more frequent in males than females. Onset is in childhood. Symptoms often attenuate during late adolescence although a minority experience the full complement of symptoms into mid-adulthood. (From DSM-IV)
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