Selected Organic Brain Syndromes

  • Jack R. Cornelius


Organic brain syndromes (OBSs) are a heterogeneous group that exhibit a wide range of symptoms. Thus, OBS may mimic a variety of “functional” disorders. For example, the primary symptom complex in the various OBSs may include global cognitive impairment, selected cognitive deficits, psychotic and affective symptoms, personality abnormalities, or alcohol-and substance-related disorders. No single collection of behavioral symptoms is pathognomonic of all OBSs. It can be difficult to distinguish OBSs from functional psychiatric disorders on the basis of psychiatric symptoms alone (Hall, Popkin, DeVaul, Faillace, & Stickney, 1978). The third edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III; APA, 1980) describes the essential feature of OBS as a psychological or behavioral abnormality associated with brain dysfunction. This cerebral dysfunction may be either primary brain dysfunction or a secondary abnormality, such as one caused by a toxic agent or metabolic abnormality. The dysfunction must be demonstrated by the patient’s medical history, physical exam or laboratory tests and must be etiologically related to his or her psychiatric symptoms.


Medical Disorder Temporal Arteritis Alcohol Amnestic Disorder Organic Brain Syndrome Organic Mental Disorder 
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 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jack R. Cornelius
    • 1
  1. 1.Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicPittsburghUSA

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