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Transient musical hallucinations in a young adult male associated with alcohol withdrawal

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 June 2021

Mao Lim*
Affiliation:
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Graham Blackman
Affiliation:
Department of Psychosis Studies, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London
Anthony David
Affiliation:
Institute of Mental Health, University College London
Fahmida Mannan
Affiliation:
Department of Psychosis Studies, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London
*
*corresponding author.
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Abstract

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Aims

We present the case of a 25-year-old male who presented to A&E with isolated musical hallucinations, in the absence of audiological or neurological disease.

Background

Musical hallucinations (MH) are a form of complex auditory hallucinations whereby an individual experiences an instrumental and/or vocal melody in the absence of auditory stimuli.

Result

The patient had a history of recreational drug use and a family history of psychosis. Hallucinations, which were preceded by discontinuation of alcohol and re-initiation of citalopram for depression, resolved spontaneously after three days.

Conclusion

Aetiological factors are discussed alongside the existing literature. Whilst the underlying mechanisms underpinning musical hallucinations remains elusive, the case illustrates the potential role of alcohol withdrawal, serotonin toxicity, recreational drug use and genetic vulnerability.

Type
Research
Creative Commons
Creative Common License - CCCreative Common License - BY
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Royal College of Psychiatrists
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