Neuro-Behçet (NB) results from inflammatory peri-vasculitis affecting the central nervous system. Non-specific neurological and psychiatric symptoms are rarely the first presentation and may difficult or delay diagnosis and treatment.
We review, based on a case study and published literature, the psychiatric symptoms of NB when no clear evidence of neurologic disease activity is present.
We present the case of a female patient, who was diagnosed NB at age 23 for recurrent meningo-encephalitis, that showed progressive behavioral changes, with increased impulsivity, disinhibition, hostility and self-neglect.
Raised in a dysfunctional family, she ran away from home at 16, abandoned her studies, started abusing cannabinoids and showed an erratic life course.
In 2015, because of increasing psychiatric symptoms, she was admitted to hospital and a complete neuropsychological evaluation showed that she had a significant decline from an above average premorbid cognitive function, specifically related to memory deficits. CT and MRI didn’t show typical signs of active disease. However, a SPECT scan showed hypo-perfusion of the frontal cortex compatible with the patient's symptoms.
It is difficult to assess NB's activity as brain inflammation is only observed after structural changes are present. In this case the SPECT correlated well with psychiatric symptoms. The differential diagnosis includes organic pathology with psychiatric symptoms, psychiatric disease, personality disorders and substance abuse.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.