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Secondary mania of vascular origin in elderly patients: a report of two clinical cases.

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Nagaratnam N1, Wong KK, Patel I.


The concept of secondary mania continues to be debated together with unresolved or partially resolved issues such as lateralization, localization, age of onset, disinhibition syndromes, and others. We have described two patients with secondary mania following a stroke. One had a large left hemisphere cerebral infarction and the symptoms arose about 2.5 years later, possibly triggered by a transient ischemic attack involving the right hemisphere. The other had an infarction in the right posterior artery territory extending to the thalamus and internal capsule together with infarctions in the deep border zones of both hemispheres at the level of the centrum semiovale with the manic symptoms concomitant with the onset of the event. The clinical and neuro-anatomic mechanisms that underlie the diverse locations of secondary mania are discussed. The cerebral components of secondary mania and disinhibition syndromes are very similar and it is proposed that disinhibition syndromes, secondary hypomania and secondary mania with and without psychotic symptoms are simply a continuum of severity of mood disorder and secondary mania with psychotic symptoms may be an extreme form. The concept of secondary mania in the elderly is not likely to disappear although several unresolved issues remain. For the neurophysician, geriatrician, and the psychiatrist there is much to be attained by simplifying the issues and accepting the view that secondary mania is a discrete entity.

Resource: Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2006 Sep-Oct;43(2):223-32. Epub 2005 Dec 7.