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Organic psychosis: The pathobiology and treatment of delusions

Joyce, EM; (2018) Organic psychosis: The pathobiology and treatment of delusions. CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics , 24 (7) pp. 598-603. 10.1111/cns.12973. Green open access

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Abstract

Organic or secondary psychosis can be seen in diverse conditions such as toxic/metabolic disorders, neurodegenerative disease, and stroke. Poststroke psychosis is a rare phenomenon, but its study has significantly contributed to the understanding of delusion formation. The evidence from case studies of patients with focal strokes shows that delusions develop following unilateral damage of the right hemisphere. The majority of patients with right hemisphere stroke do not develop delusions however, and advanced neuroimaging analysis has elucidated why this symptom develops in only a small proportion. Lesions of the right lateral prefrontal cortex or lesions with connectivity to this area correlate with delusional beliefs in this subgroup. Studies of patients with primary psychosis, for example schizophrenia, or under the influence of the psychotogenic drug ketamine, also show abnormal function of this area in relation to the severity of their abnormal beliefs. The conclusion of these studies is that the right lateral prefrontal cortex is 1 hub in a neural network which includes the basal ganglia and limbic system and receives inputs from midbrain dopamine neurones. In patients with schizophrenia, or at risk of psychosis, dopamine is dysregulated and evidence suggests that faulty dopamine signaling is the precursor of delusion formation. It is therefore likely that the mechanism of delusion formation is the same in both primary and secondary psychosis. This is consistent with the mainstay of treatment of both conditions being antipsychotic medication. However, antipsychotic medication in people with cerebrovascular disease should be avoided if at all possible. This is because epidemiological studies have found that antipsychotic use is associated with an increased risk of stroke and will thus compound the possibility of a further cerebrovascular

Type: Article
Title: Organic psychosis: The pathobiology and treatment of delusions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/cns.12973
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/cns.12973
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: delusions, right lateral prefrontal cortex, secondary psychosis, stroke
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Clinical and Movement Neurosciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10052461
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