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Clin J Pain. 2005 Jul-Aug;21(4):362-3.

Painful hallucinations and somatic delusions in a patient with the possible diagnosis of neuroborreliosis.

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Department of Psychiatry, Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena, Jena, Germany.


Neuroborreliosis has become the most frequently recognized tick-borne infection of the nervous system in Europe and the United States. In addition to dermatological, cardiac, articular, and neurologic manifestations, psychiatric disorders such as depression, panic attacks, and schizophrenia-like psychosis can also arise. We report on a 61-year-old woman who developed a severe pain syndrome following several tick bites. She was diagnosed with neuroborreliosis; she received various courses of antibiotics over several years, but without any clinical improvement in her condition. Her eventual admission to a psychiatric ward due to mental symptoms and neuroleptic treatment led to a dramatic improvement of her pain symptoms. However, increasing delusions disclosed a psychotic episode, which ceased over time. We discuss therapeutic difficulties and psychiatric complications in the absence of a clear-cut diagnosis of neuroborreliosis. Although this patient might have suffered from late-onset schizophrenia with painful hallucinations right from the start of her disease, the case highlights psychiatric complications that might be associated with neuroborreliosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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