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Clinical Features and Diagnosis of Alcoholic Hallucinosis

  • N. De Uribe-viloria (a1), A. Alonso Sanchez (a1), M. De Lorenzo Calzon (a1), M. Gomez Garcia (a1), A. Alvarez Astorga (a1), H. De La Red Gallego (a1), R. Hernandez Anton (a1), S. Gomez Sanchez (a1), C. Noval Canga (a1), G. Medina Ojeda (a1) and F. De Uribe Ladron De Cegama (a1)...

Abstract

Introduction

Alcoholic hallucinosis is a rare complication of chronic alcohol abuse, characterized by acoustic verbal hallucinations and delusions, mainly of a menacing content, arising in clear consciousness, that appear during or shortly after a period of heavy alcohol consumption.

Objectives and aims

To outline the key clinical features of alcoholic hallucinosis in order to improve differential diagnosis with other entities.

Methods

We studied the evolution of an outpatient followed in a Mental Health Centre of Valladolid and compared it with present data about the condition, found in a bibliographic search of articles no older than 10 years about the topic.

Results

Partial insight about the experience, along with clear consciousness, was key to discard other psychiatric diagnosis that also present acoustic hallucinations. Neuroimagining and functional tests in our patient showed moderate cognitive impairment and cortical atrophy, which contradicts other studies which claim that an acceptable level of cognition must be present in order to gain the necessary insight to meet the diagnostic criteria.

Conclusions

Alcoholic hallucinosis is a rare form of subacute encephalopathy, secondary to an abrupt stop in a previously chronic and heavy alcohol consumption. Its diagnosis is mainly clinical, and neuroleptics are the most used drug, being abstinence essential for an adequate evolution. The course is usually benign, although the acoustic phenomena may not disappear completely.

Disclosure of interest

The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.

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Clinical Features and Diagnosis of Alcoholic Hallucinosis

  • N. De Uribe-viloria (a1), A. Alonso Sanchez (a1), M. De Lorenzo Calzon (a1), M. Gomez Garcia (a1), A. Alvarez Astorga (a1), H. De La Red Gallego (a1), R. Hernandez Anton (a1), S. Gomez Sanchez (a1), C. Noval Canga (a1), G. Medina Ojeda (a1) and F. De Uribe Ladron De Cegama (a1)...

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Clinical Features and Diagnosis of Alcoholic Hallucinosis

  • N. De Uribe-viloria (a1), A. Alonso Sanchez (a1), M. De Lorenzo Calzon (a1), M. Gomez Garcia (a1), A. Alvarez Astorga (a1), H. De La Red Gallego (a1), R. Hernandez Anton (a1), S. Gomez Sanchez (a1), C. Noval Canga (a1), G. Medina Ojeda (a1) and F. De Uribe Ladron De Cegama (a1)...
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