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Visual hallucinations in consultation-liaison neuropsychiatry

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 June 2014

Mark Walterfang*
Affiliation:
Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia Neuropsychiatry Unit, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
Ramon Mocellin
Affiliation:
Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia Neuropsychiatry Unit, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
Dennis Velakoulis
Affiliation:
Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia Neuropsychiatry Unit, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
*
Dr Mark Walterfang, Neuropsychiatry Unit, Level 2, John Cade Building, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville 3050, Victoria, Australia. Tel: +61 3 93428750; Fax: +61 3 93428483; E-mail: mark.walterfang@mh.org.au

Abstract

Background:

In consultation-liaison settings, neuropsychiatrists are commonly asked to assess patients with hallucinatory syndromes and to differentiate ‘functional’ from ‘organic’ psychotic presentations.

Methods:

The occurrence and management of visual hallucinations (VH) in healthy individuals, lesion states, neurodegenerative disorders, intoxication/withdrawal states and delirium are reviewed.

Results:

The presence of VH has been shown to predict a secondary rather than primary psychotic illness and an understanding of the neurobiology of the visual system – including how and where underlying neurotransmitter systems interact in visual processing and how perturbations can result in VH – allows for appropriate clinical assessment and management.

Type
Review article
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Blackwell Munksgaard

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