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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.
Pathological conditions (Disorder, SYNDROME, or DISEASE) whose SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS manifest late in the life of an individual.
Infections of the central nervous system caused by TREPONEMA PALLIDUM which present with a variety of clinical syndromes. The initial phase of infection usually causes a mild or asymptomatic meningeal reaction. The meningovascular form may present acutely as BRAIN INFARCTION. The infection may also remain subclinical for several years. Late syndromes include general paresis; TABES DORSALIS; meningeal syphilis; syphilitic OPTIC ATROPHY; and spinal syphilis. General paresis is characterized by progressive DEMENTIA; DYSARTHRIA; TREMOR; MYOCLONUS; SEIZURES; and Argyll-Robertson pupils. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp722-8)
The condition of harboring an infective organism without manifesting symptoms of infection. The organism must be readily transmissible to another susceptible host.
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