Organic Masquerades- B12 Deficiency mimicking Schizophrenia or Depression

21 Jul

Vitamin B12 deficiency is known to cause Neuropsychiatric symptoms, however in some instances, the presentation is purely Psychiatric without obvious Neurological symptoms.
The presence of an atypical psychosis and/or with cognitive loss,or Psychiatric symptoms in a Vegetarian,should prompt further investigations.
These symptoms can easily be misdiagnosed as Schizophrenia or Depression if the physician is not alert regarding possible “organic” causes.

The below studies highlight Vitamin B12 deficiency and behavioural symptoms.


Terms used in Neuropsychology

13 Jul

acquired alexia-
loss of reading ability in a previously literate person

loss of ability to recognize objects, persons, sounds, shapes, or smells in spite of intact…

allocentric neglect-
consistent processing errors on one side of individual stimuli (either right or left) ….

General term for loss of memory.

angular gyrus-
a region of cortex on the temporal/parietal border roughly equivalent to Brodmann’s area 39….

inability to name objects or items

A condition in which a person who suffers impairment following brain damage seems unaware of the neurological deficits (lacking insight)..

anterior cingulate-
A midline frontal

Antegrade amnesia-
a form of memory loss where new events are not stored in long-term memory

deficit in the production and/or comprehension of language

the inability to carry out certain motor acts on instruction without evident loss of muscle…

Arborial structure-
the branching pattern of neuronal dendrites

Arcuate fasciculus-
fibre bundle connecting Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas in the brain

an agnosic condition in which objects cannot be recognized by touch alone.

long, thin projection from a neuron that carries electrical impulses from the cell body

the lower part of the brain, adjoining and structurally continuous with the spinal cord

Brodmann area-
a region of the cortex defined on the basis of cytoarchitecture

a region at the basis of the brain that is important in sensory and motor functions

Cerebral cortex-
the outer surface of the brain which has, in higher mammals, a creased and bumpy….

Conduction aphasia-
aphasia in which the principal deficit is an inability to repeat spoken word

sudden loss of function in a region of the brain connected to, but at a distance from, a damaged…

the general term for a group of disorders thought to be caused by damage to a pathway between.

in the nervous system, the principle that because axons may branch many times, a single..

Egocentric neglect-
consistent errors to one side of the viewer (right or left)

the term for a group of neurological disorders characterized by synchronized by excessive neuronal…

the term associated with Lashley, broadly meaning that any region of cortex can assume responsibility…

the process causing neuronal death

Fluent aphasia-
another name for Wernicke’s aphasia. Language is fluent but nonsensical

elongated bumps (convexities) in the cortex (singular: gyrus)

partial or complete loss of movement in one side of the body

Autoimmune Schizophrenia

13 Jul

Schizophrenia shares many similarities with Autoimmune disorders,such as low Vitamin D levels,and autoantibodies to the brain have been found in some people who have previously received a diagnosis of Schizophrenia.
Unfortunately,these findings are not well known,neither to lay people or medical practitioners, including Immunologists,possibly due to the stigma of Schizophrenia producing a disinterest in research into this illness and a disbelief that there could be an organic (physical) cause to an illness that produces such severe brain and behavioural symptoms.
The below list of blogs have interesting information regarding Schizophoenia as an Autoimmune Disease in some people.

B12 deficiency and Psychiatric and Neurological disorders

1 Jul

Chris Kresser has written a great article on the connection between Vitamin B12 deficiency and Neurological and Mental Illnesses…

Patient Advocacy services for difficult communicating with Doctors

30 Jun

Mant people have had bad experiences with doctors that are rude or waste their time.
To counter this problem in the Healthcare system, Victorian patients are increasingly using Patient Advocate services to help with communicating with G.P’s.

Herpes medicine (antivirals) may help treat Bipolar Disorder

30 Jun

The connections between viruses and Psychiatric symptoms keep growing.

Brain Scans could become EKG’s for Mental Disorders

29 Jun


If EKGs can detect potential problems in heart function, then doctors are asking why brain scans can’t be used in the same way, to identify disorders like depression, autism or schizophrenia.

Doctors have long relied on electrocardiograms (EKGs) to track the electrical activity of the heart, and find any potential aberrations in the normal pattern of blips and valleys that could indicate distress. It’s not invasive, not that expensive, and for the patient, only involves getting hooked up to a few leads with patches on the chest.

Now researchers say that a similarly patient-friendly technique could scour brain activity for signs of trouble. The idea is to look for any changes in the normal ‘resting state’ of multiple brain regions recorded by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machines. And so far, promising evidence suggests that it may be possible to detect when communication between these regions is out of sync, or otherwise different from the norm. Even more encouraging, say scientists, various mental disorders, such as depression and autism, may involve different aberrant patterns of activity, providing a type of visual fingerprint for the condition. Finding such signatures could not only lead to better diagnosis of certain neurological or developmental diseases but also track how well patients respond to treatment.

And—just as with a standard EKG test—all the patient has to do is lie still. “With resting state fMRI they just have to hold still for eight minutes in the scanner,” says Dr. Michael Greicius, medical director of the Stanford Center for Memory Disorders. “That’s the main practical advantage.”

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