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Neurosyphilis with psychotic symptoms and Parkinsonism in a young girl

Authors Yin L, Zou S, Huang Y

Received 3 November 2014

Accepted for publication 17 December 2014

Published 16 February 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 375—377


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Li Yin,* Shoukang Zou,* Yi Huang

Department of Psychiatry, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: A 15-year-old girl with neurosyphilis was misdiagnosed as having viral encephalitis with psychotic symptoms and Parkinsonism. We found that she was experiencing visual hallucinations, persecutory delusions, flattening of affect, poorness of thought, tremors, four-limb rigidity, and restlessness, and she was unable to communicate with others. The Venereal Disease Research Laboratory serum test and further lumbar puncture enabled us to diagnose her with neurosyphilis. After antibiotic treatment, her psychotic symptoms and Parkinsonism were relieved. From this case, we believe that it is important to keep organic psychosis in mind during the diagnostic workup, and we argue that routine syphilis screening is necessary in psychiatry clinical practice.

Keywords: syphilis, encephalitis, organic psychosis

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