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Journal Abstract
 
Post-coma paraschizophrenia and quality of life in patients with closed-head injuries
M. Pąchalska, A. Kiejna, B. Frańczuk, J. Talar, F. H. Silverman, B. Grochmal-Bach, B. D. MacQueen
Ortop Traumatol Rehabil 2001; 3(3):401-411
ICID: 496179
Article type: Original article
IC™ Value: 3.39
Abstract provided by Publisher
 
Background. Organic brain damage is traditionally an excluding criteria for a psychiatric diagnosis of mental illness. In fact, however, the neurobehavioral disturbances exhibited by many CHI patients, especially those who have been comatose for more than a month, are strikingly similar to the symptoms of Type II schizophrenia. The authors propose to use the term “post-coma paraschizophrenia” to describe these disturbances and discuss their negative impact on the quality of life of CHI patients.
Material and methods. The experimental group (Group CHI) consisted of 15 CHI patients, 7 males and 8 females, ranging in age from 17 to 58, treated in the Department of Medical Rehabilitation at the Cracow Rehabilitation Center and the Rehabilitation Clinic at the Bydgoszcz Medical University. All these patients had incurred a closed-head injury resulting in a coma lasting at least one month. He control group (Group SCHI) consisted of 15 patients diagnosed with Type II schizophrenia, matched by age, sex, and level of education to the patients in Group CHI, under treatment in the Psychiatry Department at the Wroclaw Medical University and the Bydgoszcz Medical University. The data reported were based on clinical observation, patient and family interviews, standard neuropsychological tests, the Frontal Behavioral Inventory, and the Quality of Life Scale for Patients with Traumatic Brain Injuries.
Results. Standard neuropsychological tests showed similar dysfunctions in general intelligence and memory, with a tendency in both groups to lower scores in non-verbal parameters. Some interesting qualitative differences in performance are presented. All the CHI patients showed significant signs of frontal syndrome, with a profile resembling fronto-temporal dementia, while the test results from the SCHI patients were more similar to those associated with severe clinical depression. All of the patients in the CHI group exhibited at least some of the symptoms traditionally regarded as indicative of schizophrenia. Positive (formative) symptoms of schizophrenia were found much more often in the patients from Group SCHI, whereas the percentages for the occurrence of particular negative (defective) symptoms are quite similar in both groups.
Conclusions. Patients with closed-head injuries may present with quasi-psychotic symptoms, here termed “post-coma paraschizophrenia”. Among the most significant common features of the two syndromes are disorganized behavior, apathy, and disturbances of executive functions. Post-coma paraschizophrenia, which mostly remains untreated because of the lack of neuropsychiatric diagnosis, has a significant negative on the quality of life of CHI patients, and should receive further attention in both theoretical research and clinical practice.

ICID 496179
PMID 17984919 - click here to show this article in PubMed
 
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