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Organic Brain Syndrome

This is a general term that refers to physical disorders that cause a decrease in mental function, usually not including psychiatric disorders. Also known as: chronic organic brain syndrome; OBS; organic mental disorder

Symptoms vary with the specific disease. In general, organic brain syndromes cause varying extent of confusion, delirium (severe, short term losses of brain function), agitation, and dementia (long-term, often progressive, losses of brain function).

Associated Features:

Organic brain syndrome associated with consumption of drugs.

Differential Diagnosis:

Some disorders have similar symptoms. The clinician, therefore, in his diagnostic attempt, has to differentiate against the following disorders which need to be ruled out to establish a precise diagnosis.

Organic brain syndrome (OBS) is a common "diagnosis" of the elderly. It is not an inevitable part of aging, however. OBS is not a separate disease entity, but is a general term used to categorize physical conditions that can cause mental changes.

Disorders associated with OBS include, but are not limited to:

Degenerative Disorders:
Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease
Huntington disease
Multiple Sclerosis
Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
Pick's disease
Senile Dementia/Alzheimer's type
Cardiovascular Disorders
Hypertensive Brain Injury
Multi-infarct Dementia
Stroke
Trauma-induced brain injury
Dementia due to metabolic causes
Meningitis
Encephalitis
Drug and alcohol related conditions
Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
Parkinson's disease
Other conditions that may be related to organic brain syndrome include depression, neuroses, and psychoses of various types, which may occur simultaneously with the OBS.

Cause:

It is not an inevitable part of aging, however. OBS is not a separate disease entity, but is a general term used to categorize physical conditions that can cause mental changes.

Treatment:

Treatment varies with the specific disorder. Many of the disorders have nonspecific treatments, primarily supportive care to assist the person in areas where brain function is lost. Medications may be needed to reduce aggressive behaviors typical of some of the conditions in this category.

related books
  Behavior Belongs in the Brain: Neurobehavioral Syndromes
UK Support Groups
 

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Page Updated
20th July 2003