What is Dementia? Dementia is a condition which involves progressive and cognitive deficits. It usually affects memory first, with subsequent progression to cause dysphasia, agnosia, apraxia, diminished ability with executive function and eventually personality disintegration. Causes of Dementia It is caused by damage to or loss of nerve cells and their connections in the brain. … Read more

Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Introduction Autism or autistic spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by qualitative impairments occuring in a child before the age of 36 months, in three key areas; social interaction (often the earliest features of Autistic Spectrum Disorder-ASD), communication, interests and activities. The clinical presentation is varied and may encompass children with severe manifestations of … Read more

Substance use disorders

Introduction Abuse of substances such as marijuana, benzodiazepines, heroine, cocaine etc. is prevalent in many communities around the country. Typically, individuals with such disorders request help only after they are forced to do so by family members. They may also begin to have withdrawal symptoms when on admission for serious physical illness. This is because … Read more

Generalized anxiety disorders

Introduction Anxiety is a common symptom that occurs in all psychiatric disorders including depressive illness and most psychoses. Physical diseases like hyperthyroidism, cardiac disease or hypertension may also present with anxiety and therefore must be excluded. There are various forms of anxiety disorders (e.g. generalized anxiety disorders, panic disorders, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder, acute stress … Read more

Alcoholic delirium tremens

Introduction Alcoholic delirium tremens is the most dramatic withdrawal syndrome. It usually starts 2-3 days after drinking stops. On average, the syndrome lasts 3 days but may continue for much longer. Without good supportive care and adequate treatment, Delirium Tremens (DT) is associated with significant mortality. Risk factors include long history of heavy alcohol use, … Read more

Alcohol Withdrawal Syndromes

Introduction Alcohol withdrawal syndromes occur following sudden withdrawal from alcohol. They are often seen 12 to 18 hours after the last drink, but may be earlier and are worst between 24 to 48 hours after onset. This commonly occurs in patients admitted to hospital for other problems e.g. arising from accidents or physical illnesses, which … Read more

Psychogenic Seizures

Introduction Psychogenic seizures or pseudo seizures are non-epileptic seizures, which mimic epilepsy but actually have an underlying psychological cause. In patients with this form of disorder, there may be a history of physical, sexual or psychological abuse. The symptoms may be precipitated by stress and the signs are often variable and may include resistance to … Read more

The Acutely Disturbed Patient

Introduction The acutely disturbed patient presents in an excited, agitated or aggressive state. There may be delusions and perceptual changes like hallucinations that overwhelm the patient. Disorientation and alteration in consciousness are often prominent when the cause is organic. The patients are usually brought in restrained by more than one person or by the police. … Read more

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most common neurobehavioural disorder affecting children. It may present in infancy and can continue into adulthood. It affects 5-8% of children and nearly three times as many boys as girls. Nearly half the children presenting with ADHD may also have an … Read more

Altered Mental Status

Introduction Altered mental status is the acute alteration in brain function and may include alteration of arousal or awareness, thought content, memory or attention. Clinical presentation of altered mental status The presentation of this condition is dependent on the cause but may include: Agitated Restlessness Hemiparesis Visual deficit Dysphasia Differential diagnosis The mnemonic AEIOU TIPS … Read more