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Diagnostic and treatment challenges in traumatic brain injury patients with severe neuropsychiatric symptoms: insights into psychiatric practice

Authors Lauterbach M, Notarangelo P, Nichols S, Lane K, Koliatsos V

Received 7 January 2015

Accepted for publication 8 April 2015

Published 1 July 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 1601—1607

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S80457

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Margo D Lauterbach,1 Paula L Notarangelo,1 Stephen J Nichols,2 Kristy S Lane,1 Vassilis E Koliatsos1

1The Neuropsychiatry Program at Sheppard Pratt, Sheppard Pratt Health System, Baltimore, MD, 2Department of Emergency Medicine, The University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga, Chattanooga, TN, USA

Abstract: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes a variety of neuropsychiatric problems that pose diagnostic and treatment challenges for providers. In this report, we share our experience as a referral neuropsychiatry program to assist the general psychiatrist when adult TBI patients with psychiatric symptoms present for evaluation and treatment. We completed a retrospective study of patients with moderate-to-severe TBI and severe neuropsychiatric impairments. We collected information on demographics, nature of injury, symptomatology, diagnoses, and treatments. Data analysis indicates that mood stabilization was a key concern, often requiring aggressive pharmacological management. Cognitive dysfunction was a problem for the majority of patients, but was only medicated in a third, due to poor efficacy or behavioral side effects. The co-occurrence of multiple TBI-related symptoms and diagnoses in this patient cohort emphasizes the need for individualized psychopharmacological approaches and interventions.

Keywords: traumatic brain injury, neurobehavioral, treatment

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