Neurobehavioral Disturbances Associated with Disorders of the Pancreas

  • Christopher M. Ryan
Part of the Critical Issues in Neuropsychology book series (CINP)

Abstract

Concerned primarily with the digestion of food and the metabolism of carbohydrates, the pancreas appears at first glance to be a most unlikely source of neuropsychiatric disturbances. Yet an extensive clinical literature has reported significant mental-status changes in individuals with several different pancreatic disorders. Severe depression and anxiety are often seen in patients with cancer of the pancreas long before any other somatic symptoms of their carcinoma are evident. Profound impairments affecting both emotional and intellectual domains have been reported in patients with pancreatitis, and severe inflammation of the pancreas is said to produce a “pancreatic encephalopathy.” Impairments on various cognitive measures are also seen in children and adults with diabetes mellitus, though these intellectual changes tend to be far less severe than those associated with pancreatitis, and they appear to be restricted to a relatively small subset of diabetic patients. In addition, mental confusion, slurred speech, motor incoordination, and a number of other symptoms of central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction are typically found in patients with hyperinsulinism secondary to islet cell tumors (insulinomas).

Keywords

Pancreatic Cancer Blood Glucose Level Acute Pancreatitis Chronic Pancreatitis Pancreatic Carcinoma 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher M. Ryan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, and Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA

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