Université de Montréal, Québec.
An 18 year-old male first presented a clinical picture of acute psychosis with two recurrences at ages 22 and 23. The diagnosis made at that time was paranoid schizophrenia. Twelve years after his first psychiatric hospitalization, it was discovered that he was suffering from Wilson’s disease. In retrospect, the clinical picture was atypical, notably with an important neurologic involvement mainly parkinsonism almost uncontrollable and aggravated with neuroleptics. The chelating treatment with d-penicillamine resulted in partial improvement of the neurological involvement because the extrapyramidal and neurovegetative symptoms persisted. The psychiatric symptoms improved with fewer neuroleptics than during the 12 previous years. However, neuroleptics had to be continued because of the delay in diagnosing the illness, which diminished the efficiency of the single chelating treatment. The clinical presentation and therapeutic response of this patient strongly suggest a link between the cerebral intoxication by copper and the psychiatric symptoms.
- [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]