History and admission findings: A 65-year-old female patient presented with increasing vertigo, tendency to fall, dry cough and, in addition, numerous psychic and somatic symptoms since 6 years. Former diagnostic attempts did not yield clarifying results. In part, the patient had not followed up on former recommendations for further diagnostic procedures. With a suspected somatization disorder the patient was admitted to the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine. Investigations: The neurological examination at admission revealed vertical oculomotor palsy and tendency to fall backwards indicating an affection of the brain stem. A magnetic resonance imaging of the head showed atrophy of the mesencephalon. Diagnosis and Treatment: In light of these findings the patient was diagnosed Steele-Richardson-Olszewksi syndrome. The therapy which comprises training measures and medication with a cholinesterase inhibitor aims to retain neuropsychological and motional abilities. Besides, psychotherapy is offered alongside to help the patient to cope with the disease. Conclusions: Treating patients with somatic and psychological symptoms calls for careful anamnestic exploration and clinical examination. Psychological alterations following neurological affection of the brain can imitate somatization disorder.
|Translated title of the contribution
|Somatoform dysorder or neurological syndrome? Complex mental and movement disorder and autonomic dysfunction in a 65-year-old patient
|Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift
|Published - Jan 2011
- progressive supranuclear palsy
- somatization disorder
- Steele-Richardson-Olszewski syndrome