Skip to main content Accessibility help

Psychiatric Symptoms Associated with Brain Tumors: A Clinical Enigma

  • Despina Moise and Subramoniam Madhusoodanan


Patients in psychiatric settings may present with medical conditions, such as brain tumors, which may or may not be associated with neurological symptoms. In some cases, patients may only have psychiatric symptoms, such as mood changes (depression or mania), psychotic symptoms, panic attacks, changes in personality, or memory difficulties. Brain tumors may be detected in patients at their first presentation to mental health services or sometimes in patients with well-established psychiatric diagnoses.This article presents the case of a 29-year-old woman who was treated for >4 years for posttraumatic stress disorder and borderline personality traits, who developed depressive symptoms and memory difficulties. However, she did not develop any major neurological signs or symptoms. Brain imaging showed the presence of a left thalamic tumor, later confirmed as glioblastoma multiforme. She underwent surgical treatment and radiation therapy. With this we show that in some cases, brain tumors can be neurologically silent and only present atypical psychiatric symptoms.


Corresponding author

Please direct all correspondence to: Subramoniam Madhusoodanan, MD,Department of Psychiatry, St. John's Episcopal Hospital, 327 Beach 19th Street, Far Rockaway, NY 11691; Tel: 718-869-7248; E-mail:


Hide All
1.Madhusoodanan, S, Danan, D, Brenner, R, Bogunovic, O. Brain tumor and psychiatric manifestations: a case report and brief review. Ann Clin Psychiatry. 2004;16;111113.
2.Uribe, VM. Psychiatric symptoms and brain tumor. Am Fam Physician. 1986;34:9598.
3.Filley, CM, Kleinschmidt-DeMasters, BK. Neurobehavioral presentations of brain neoplasms. West J Med. 1995;163:1925.
4.Binder, RL. Neurologically silent brain tumors in psychiatric hospital admissions: three cases and a review. J Clin Psychiatry. 1983;44:9497.
5.Jarquin-Valdivia, AA. Psychiatric symptoms and brain tumors. Arch Neurol. 2004;61:18001804.
6.Lin, L, Liao, SC, Lee, YJ, Tseng, MC, Lee, MB. Brain tumor presenting as anorexia nervosa in a 19-year-old man. J Formos Med Assoc. 2003;102:737740.
7.Krauthammer, C, Klerman, GL. Secondary mania: manic syndromes associated with antecedent physical illness or drugs. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978;35:13331339.
8.Jamieson, RC, Wells, CE. Manic psychosis in a patient with multiple metastatic brain tumors. J Clin Psychiatry. 1979;40:280283.
9.Burns, JM, Swerdlow, RH. Right orbitofrontal tumor with pedophilia symptom and constructional apraxia sign. Arch Neurol. 2003;60:437440.
10.Folstein, MF, Folstein, SE, McHugh, PR. “Mini-mental state.” A practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. J Psychiatr Res. 1975;12:189198.
11.Teasdale, G, Jennet, B. Assessment of coma and impaired consciousness. A practical scale. Lancet. 1974;2:8184.

Psychiatric Symptoms Associated with Brain Tumors: A Clinical Enigma

  • Despina Moise and Subramoniam Madhusoodanan


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed