Activation of Heschl's gyrus during auditory hallucinations.
Apart from being a common feature of mental illness, auditory hallucinations provide an intriguing model for the study of internally generated sensory perceptions that are attributed to external sources. Until now, the knowledge about the cortical network that supports such hallucinations has been restricted by methodological limitations. Here, we describe an experiment with paranoid schizophrenic patients whose on- and offset of auditory hallucinations could be monitored within one functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) session. We demonstrate an increase of the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal in Heschl's gyrus during the patients' hallucinations. Our results provide direct evidence of the involvement of primary auditory areas in auditory verbal hallucinations and establish novel constraints for psychopathological models. (+info)
Elementary visual hallucinations, blindness, and headache in idiopathic occipital epilepsy: differentiation from migraine.
This is a qualitative and chronological analysis of ictal and postictal symptoms, frequency of seizures, family history, response to treatment, and prognosis in nine patients with idiopathic occipital epilepsy and visual seizures. Ictal elementary visual hallucinations are stereotyped for each patient, usually lasting for seconds. They consist of mainly multiple, bright coloured, small circular spots, circles, or balls. Mostly, they appear in a temporal hemifield often moving contralaterally or in the centre where they may be flashing. They may multiply and increase in size in the course of the seizure and may progress to other non-visual occipital seizure symptoms and more rarely to extra-occipital manifestations and convulsions. Blindness occurs usually from the beginning and postictal headache, often indistinguishable from migraine, is common. It is concluded that elementary visual hallucinations in occipital seizures are entirely different from visual aura of migraine when individual elements of colour, shape, size, location, movement, speed of development, duration, and progress are synthesised together. Postictal headache does not show preference for those with a family history of migraine. Most of the patients are misdiagnosed as having migraine with aura, basilar migraine, acephalgic migraine, or migralepsy simply because physicians are not properly informed of differential diagnostic criteria. As a result, treatment may be delayed for years. Response to carbamazepine is excellent and seizures may remit. (+info)
Cognitive disorders: A question of misattribution.
A recent study indicates that schizophrenia patients are prone to auditory hallucinations because they have difficulty recognising their 'inner speech' as their own, and consequently tend to misattribute it to an external source. (+info)
The perceptual consequences of visual loss: 'positive' pathologies of vision.
Fifty patients with visual hallucinations and illusions secondary to degenerative eye disease reported remarkably stereotyped experiences. Questionnaire responses revealed five previously recognized categories of pathological vision (perseveration, illusory visual spread, polyopia, prosopometamorphopsia and micro/macropsia) and three novel categories (tessellopsia, hyperchromatopsia and dendropsia). Identical pathologies of vision occur in a range of clinical and experimental settings, suggesting that they reflect fundamental visual processes. The known neurophysiology of the visual cortex helps explain the phenomenology of the experiences and provides the basis for a neurobiologically based classification of positive and negative visual perceptual disorders. (+info)
Hypercalcemia in an euthyroid patient with secondary hypoadrenalism and diabetes insipidus due to hypothalamic tumor.
A 20-year-old Japanese man with a hypothalamic tumor (most likely germ-cell tumor) which caused secondary hypoadrenalism, hypogonadism and diabetes insipidus developed hypercalcemia and acute renal failure. The serum levels of intact PTH (iPTH), PTH-related protein (PTH-rP), 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D (1,25- (OH)2 D), ACTH, cortisol, gonadotropins and testosterone were decreased, but his serum levels of triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) were within the normal range at admission, with depressed TSH and slightly increased thyroglobulin. The hypercalcemia was refractory to extensive hydration and calcitonin, but was ameliorated by pamidronate. After irradiation of the hypothalamic tumor, panhypopituitarism gradually developed. The patient has been normocalcemic for the last 2 years and is doing well under replacement therapy with glucocorticoid, L-thyroxine, methyltestosterone and 1-desamino D arginine vasopressin (dDAVP). As to the mechanism of euthyroidism at admission, transient destructive thyroiditis associated with hypopituitarism or delayed development of hypothyroidism following the hypoadrenalism was suggested. This is the first reported case of hypercalcemia in secondary hypoadrenalism due to hypothalamic tumor. Hypercalcemia was most likely induced by increased bone resorption, which was probably elicited by the combined effects of deficient glucocorticoid and sufficient thyroid hormones in addition to hypovolemia and reduced renal calcium excretion. Furthermore, severe dehydration due to diabetes insipidus and disturbance of thirst sensation caused by the hypothalamic tumor aggravated the hypercalcemia, leading to acute renal failure. (+info)
When the left brain is not right the right brain may be left: report of personal experience of occipital hemianopia.
OBJECTIVES: To make a personal report of a hemianopia due to an occipital infarct, sustained by a professor of neurology. METHODS: Verbatim observation of neurological phenomena recorded during the acute illness. RESULTS: Hemianopia, visual hallucinations, and non-occipital deficits without extraoccipital lesions on MRI, are described and discussed. CONCLUSIONS: Hemianopia, due to an occipital infarct, without alexia, is not a disability which precludes a normal professional career. Neurorehabilitation has not been necessary. (+info)
Validity and usefulness of the Wisconsin Manual for Assessing Psychotic-like Experiences.
The Wisconsin Manual for Assessing Psychotic-like Experiences is an interview-based assessment system for rating psychotic and psychotic-like symptoms on a continuum of deviancy from normal to grossly psychotic. The original manual contained six scales, assessing thought transmission, passivity experiences, thought withdrawal, auditory experiences, personally relevant aberrant beliefs, and visual experiences. A seventh scale assessing deviant olfactory experiences was subsequently added. The rating scales have good interrater reliability when used by trained raters. Cross-sectional studies indicated that the frequency and deviancy of psychotic-like experiences are elevated among college students who were identified, hypothetically, as psychosis prone by other criteria. Psychotic-like experiences of moderate deviancy in college students successfully predicted the development of psychotic illness and poorer overall adjustment 10 years later. The manual is useful for identifying psychosis-prone individuals and is recommended for use in linkage and treatment outcome studies. The present article provides an interview schedule for collecting information required for rating psychotic-like experiences. (+info)
Acute psychotic symptoms induced by topiramate.
The incidence of psychosis during clinical trials of topiramate was 0.8%, not significantly different from the rate for placebo or reported rates of psychosis in patients with refractory epilepsy. We observed psychotic symptoms in five patients soon after initiation of topiramate therapy. We performed a retrospective chart review of the first 80 patients who began on topiramate after approval for clinical use, between January and April 1997. Symptoms suggestive of psychosis, including hallucinations and delusions, were sought for analysis. Cognitive effects such as psychomotor slowing, confusion, and somnolence were not included. Five patients developed definite psychotic symptoms 2 to 46 days after beginning topiramate. Dosages at symptom onset were 50-400 mg/day. Symptoms included paranoid delusions in four patients and auditory hallucinations in three. Symptoms of psychosis and other psychiatric symptoms resolved quickly with discontinuation of topiramate in three patients, dose reduction from 300 to 200 mg/day in one and with inpatient treatment and neuroleptics in another. One patient had a history of auditory hallucinations, one of aggressive and suicidal thoughts, but three had no significant psychiatric history. Physicians should be aware of the possibility of psychotic symptoms, even in patients without a previous psychiatric history, when prescribing topiramate. Symptoms resolve quickly with discontinuation. (+info)