We report the case of a 67-year-old woman who experienced a sudden onset of psychotic illness (i.e., prominent delusions and hallucinations) that has endured for approximately 3 years. As part of her neurobehavioral work-up, a SPECT scan revealed right frontal and left anterior temporal-lobe hypoperfusion. Serial neuropsychological evaluations obtained 2 years apart demonstrated a steady decline on tests of executive control (monitoring, allocation of attention, perseveration) and visuospatial abilities, whereas performance in other areas of cognitive functioning have remained steady and in the normal range for the patient's age. Over this same period of time, serial EEG, MRI, and neurology examinations have been within normal limits. Thus, there was little evidence with which to diagnose dementia. It is suggested that concomitant impairment in executive control, coupled with a degraded capacity to process perceptual information, can give rise to enduring psychotic behavior.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Psychiatry and Mental health