Jefferson Journal of Psychiatry


The relationship between psychiatric and medical illness has long been recognized by clinicians. Of special importance to psychiatrists are the diagnostic dilemmas posed by medical illnesses presenting as psychiatric disorders. In a review of recent studies, LaBruzza found that "at least one out of every twenty patients receiving an initial psychiatric evaluation may have an underlying medical illness which accounts for the psychiatric symptoms." This was especially true with inpatients, where between 5% and 30% of patients, with a weighted average of 12%, had medical illnesses accounting for their psychiatric complaints 11). One medical illness which can resemble psychiatric illness is aseptic meningoencephalitis, a subject about which there is a paucity of literature. We present here a case of aseptic meningoencephalitis which, because of the history and presenting symptoms, bore a strong resemblance to a major depressive episode.

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